Devils 3, Flyers 1

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- David Clarkson scored the go-ahead goal on a mistake by goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, Martin Brodeur made 27 saves and the New Jersey Devils eliminated the Philadelphia Flyers with a 3-1 victory in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series Tuesday night.
Bryce Salvador and Ilya Kovalchuk also scored for New Jersey, which heads to the conference finals for the first time since winning its third Stanley Cup title in 2003.
After losing the series opener 4-3 in overtime, the sixth-seeded Devils dominated the Flyers. They continually frustrated Philadelphia with a stifling defense and held one of the NHL's top offenses to just 11 goals.
It's been 37 years since the Flyers hoisted the Stanley Cup, a drought team chairman Ed Snider desperately hoped to end. But they have to wait until next spring to try again.
Max Talbot scored the only goal for Philadelphia, which played without Claude Giroux. The All-Star center was suspended one game for a hit on Dainius Zubrus in New Jersey's 4-2 win Sunday.
For the fourth straight game, the Flyers scored first. But that was a bad omen because they lost every time. Max Talbot poked one past Brodeur during a scramble in front of the net 7:18 into the game.
The Devils answered just 2:09 later when Bryce Salvador flipped a shot from the left wing that deflected off the stick of Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds and over Bryzgalov's shoulder.
A few minutes later, Bryzgalov's mental lapse gave the Devils a lead. Bryzgalov took a dump pass from Kimmo Timonen, skated to the left of the crease and inexplicably tried to clear it out with Clarkson bearing in on him. The puck hit Clarkson's stick and bounced right back at Bryzgalov and through his legs.
The goal deflated the Flyers and seemed to suck the life out of the sellout crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.
A sloppy play by Brodeur nearly allowed the Flyers to tie it in the second period. Brodeur mishandled the puck behind the net, but Danny Briere's wraparound attempt hit the post.
Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias each hit the post on second-period shots.
Kovalchuk's power-play goal early in the third period gave the Devils a two-goal cushion. Just four seconds after James van Riemsdyk went to the box, Kovalchuk blasted a shot from the point that was deflected, hit the post, rattled around and went in.
NOTES: The Flyers scored 30 goals against Pittsburgh in six games in Round 1 compared to their 11 goals in five games against New Jersey. ... Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros played for the first time since March 1. He missed 67 days with a back injury that required surgery. ... The Flyers were 1-6 in the playoffs when they score first. ... Devils center Ryan Carter returned after missing a game because of food poisoning. ... Brodeur has 107 playoff wins, second only to Patrick Roy's 151. ... Brodeur extended his NHL record for consecutive playoff starts to 182. ... The Devils beat the Flyers in the playoffs on their way to winning Stanley Cup titles in 1995 and 2000. ... Only one point separated the Flyers and Devils in the regular season.

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