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Gagne's overtime goal leads Flyers to 5-4 victory over Devils

Simon Gagne scored 1:47 into overtime, leading the Flyers to a 5-4 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. Scottie Upshall, Geoff Sanderson, Sami Kapanen and Mike Richards also scored as Philadelphia beat the Devils for the first time in six tries this season.

Martin Biron, making his first start at home since the Flyers got him from Buffalo at the trade deadline, had 37 saves. Upshall, one of four players in the lineup that arrived in trades last month, has four goals in nine games with Philadelphia.

"We're not looking up at the standings," said Upshall, who was part of the deal that sent Peter Forsberg to Nashville. "We're just playing hard, playing in-your-face style hockey."

A perennial playoff participant, the Flyers have the fewest points (47) in the NHL. But, they're 7-6-6 since the all-star break and are hoping a strong finish can carry over into next season.

Brad Lukowich, Zach Parise, Patrik Elias and Sergei Brylin scored for the Atlantic Division-leading Devils, who lost their third straight game.

Lukowich scored the tying goal with 5:35 left in regulation after the Flyers failed to clear the puck in front.

Gagne took a pass from Randy Jones and put his own rebound past Martin Brodeur to win it.

"I made a good save. It just went right back on his stick," Brodeur said. "He kind of read the play. It just bounced back on his stick. It was a goal scorer's goal."

Gagne credited Jones for his team-leading 36th goal.

"I was open at the side of the net and Jonesy made a great pass," Gagne said.

Each time the Devils went ahead in the second period, the Flyers answered quickly. Just 42 seconds after Brylin deflected in a slap shot from Elias to give the Devils a 3-2 lead, Richards tied it with a shot that went between Lukowich's legs and past Brodeur.

Upshall gave the Flyers a 4-3 lead 1:25 later. He had just two goals in 14 games for the Predators.

Biron preserved the one-goal lead with a pad save on a point-blank shot by Scott Gomez early in the third and made an acrobatic stop during a Devils' power play midway through the period.

While flat on his back, Biron turned his body, kicked his right leg up and somehow stopped a slap shot by Jamie Langenbrunner, earning a standing ovation from a home crowd that's had few reasons to cheer this season.

"When the trade was made, I was excited because I knew I liked playing in this building," Biron said. "It's a place I'm comfortable in."

New Jersey, which is chasing Buffalo for first place in the Eastern Conference, missed an opportunity to gain ground on the Sabres.

"We've just got to get back playing our game," Langenbrunner said. "Right now we're making too many mistakes, we're turning the puck over too many times and giving them way too many chances."

The Devils went ahead 2-1 on Elias' 21st goal in the second period. Elias skated into traffic, stopped on a dime outside the left circle and ripped a slap shot that hit the post and went in.

Kapanen's power-play goal just 1:17 later tied it at 2. Kapanen's slap shot was wide of the net, but hit Lukowich's shoulder and went in. The Flyers had just one goal in 32 power-play chances over eight games before Kapanen scored.

Parise gave the Devils a 1-0 lead with his team-leading 27th goal early in the first period. Sanderson tied it at 1 with a breakaway goal early in the second period.

Notes: Biron is 3-6-2 against New Jersey. ... The Devils had won five straight road games. ... New Jersey is 5-0-4 against the Flyers, dating to last season. ... Devils F Brian Gionta re-injured his groin in the first period and didn't return. It was his second game back after missing eight.


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