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Patrik Elias scores twice in Devils' 3-2 overtime win over Flyers

PHILADELPHIA - Patrik Elias had an easy explanation when asked about tying the NHL record for regular-season overtime goals.

"I just like to be in that position when the game is on the line," Elias said.

He certainly was Thursday night, scoring the tying and winning goals in the New Jersey Devils' 3-2 overtime victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Elias' 15th overtime goal pulled him into a tie with Mats Sundin and Jaromir Jagr for the NHL record.

After tying it with 1:30 left in regulation on a slap shot from just inside the blue-line, Elias won it at 2:46 of the extra period. He stole the puck in the slot, split two defenders and then put a backhander through goalie Martin Biron's pads.

"I just try to settle the play down and wait for my chance," Elias said.

Devils coach Brent Sutter said that not everyone is able to perform like Elias under such pressure situations.

"It's a quality that certain people have," Sutter said. "Some people get into a groove and handle it better than others. With some guys, things just seem to work for them in those situations and Patty's one of those guys."

Jamie Langenbrunner said that he and his New Jersey teammates appreciate Elias' contributions.

"He is our clutch player," Langenbrunner said. "He really steps up, especially as of late. I think he's really elevated his game."

Scottie Upshall gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead on a fluke play at 15:32 of the third period. His centring pass bounced off New Jersey defender Bryce Salvador into the net.

Zach Parise added a goal and an assist for the Devils, who have won six of their last seven games. Kimmo Timonen scored for the Flyers, unbeaten in regulation in their last six home games (4-0-2).

This was the first game the Flyers faced the Devils without goalie Martin Brodeur since Feb. 27, 2002, at New Jersey. Philadelphia won 1-0, with John Vanbiesbrouck in net for the Devils. Brodeur is out for at least three months with a biceps injury.

Scott Clemmensen, who was signed by the Devils as a free agent in July, made 29 saves in evening his record as a starter at 4-4. He kept New Jersey close by denying Scott Hartnell twice on shots from the doorstep late in the second period

Hartnell said that it was a frustrating loss for the Flyers.

"We are wondering how we lost that game," he said. "It puts a sour taste in our mouth, especially against the Devils."

The Flyers had won two earlier games over New Jersey this season.

Biron, who stopped 28 shots, said that he made some "bad reads" that were costly.

"You just have to keep going the same way and it's going to be more beneficial in the long run," Biron said.

Timonen put the Flyers ahead with an unassisted power play goal at 6:48 of the second period, ripping a slap shot through a screen from behind the left circle. It was his third goal of the season and first in eight games.

Parise scored his team-leading 14th goal to pull the Devils even with 2:43 left in the period. He hammered in a rebound with teammate Jamie Langenbrunner draped all over Biron in the goal mouth.

New Jersey was bolstered by the return of right wing Brian Rolston, who was sidelined for 18 games after suffering a severe ankle sprain in Atlanta on Oct. 16, and centre John Madden, who was back after sitting out four games with a bruised ankle.

Simon Gagne, who leads the Flyers with 31 points, was taken out of the game after the second period when he became dehydrated and started to cramp up.

"It's not related to concussions," Gagne said. "I didn't get hit, either. I just felt sluggish a little bit today and we decided for me to sit out in the third period and get some fluids inside of me."

Gagne missed 57 games last season because of concussion-related symptoms.

Notes: Devils RW Brian Gionta extended his points streak to eight games (five goals, six assists) with an assist. ... The Flyers recalled C Darroll Powe from their American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms. ... The Devils played the fourth game on a five-game trip that will end at Montreal on Saturday.



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