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Steve Downie scores two goals as Flyers beat Devils 4-1 in pre-season action

PHILADELPHIA - Steve Downie scored two goals and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the New Jersey Devils 4-1 in the pre-season opener for both teams Monday night.

Mike Richards and Scottie Upshall also scored for the Flyers, who bounced back from the worst season in franchise history to reach the Eastern Conference finals, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in five games.

Petr Vrana scored for the Devils, who finished in second place in the Atlantic Division last season before being eliminated by the New York Rangers in five games in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Martin Biron played the first two periods in goal for the Flyers and stopped 20 shots. He was replaced by Maxime Ouellet, who allowed one goal in nine shots.

Biron appeared in mid-season form in the first period when he thwarted three New Jersey power play opportunities within a span of four minutes, 15 seconds, including a two man advantage for 1:04.

Kevin Weekes stopped 12 of 14 shots for the Devils before being replaced midway through the second period by Scott Clemmensen. He had eight saves on nine shots.

The Flyers scored twice late in the first period. Richards put in a rebound at 17:12, and Downie scored from the slot at 18:48. Downie scored again at 2:44 of the third period.

Vrana scored at 9:26 of the third period after taking a pass from behind the net from Nicklas Bergfors.

Upshall added an empty-netter with 1:20 left in the third period.


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