NEWARK, N.J. -- David Clarkson redirected an Adam Larsson shot with 9:17 remaining for his 10th goal of the season to break a 3-3 tie and give the New Jersey Devils a come-from-behind 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Friday night at the Prudential Center.
Clarkson has taken up the scoring load since Zach Parise left when he signed with the Minnesota Wild after last season's Stanley Cup finals. Steve Bernier scored an empty-net goal with 1:36 remaining to cap the scoring. The Devils had only three shots on goal in the third period, yet scored on two of them.
The win was the sixth in seven games for the Devils (9-2-3), who had a five-game win streak snapped Tuesday night by Carolina. The Flyers (6-8-1), who are in the middle of a six-game road trip, had won four out of six. It was also the sixth straight win for the Devils over the Flyers, dating to last season's playoffs.
Philadelphia took a 3-1 lead after scoring three times in a span of 2:36 in the first period, but the Devils got goals from Alexei Ponikarovsky -- who returned to the Devils Thursday in a trade with Winnipeg -- and Patrik Elias in the second period to tie the game, setting up Clarkson's heroics.
Ilya Kovalchuk collected assists on all three of the Devils' goals in the first two periods.
Wayne Simmonds, Mike Knuble and Matt Read all scored goals in that short stint in the second period. Travis Zajac scored a goal for the Devils just 40 seconds into the game.
Claude Giroux had two assists for the Flyers.
Martin Brodeur stopped 24 shots to earn his seventh victory of the season and the 663rd victory of his career. Ilya Bryzgalov turned aside 14 shots in net for the Flyers.
The Flyers dominated a fast-paced first period, scoring three unanswered goals after New Jersey scored first.
The Devils got on the board just 40 seconds into the game, when Ilya Kovalchuk made a fine play at center ice and fed a wide-open Travis Zajac, who was standing to the left of Bryzgalov and fired a one-timer that hit the back of the net before Bryzgalov could move.
The goal, Zajac's fourth of the year, snapped an 11-game streak without a goal for the Devils center. Kovalchuk's assist gave him a five-game point streak.
But the rest of the period belonged to Philadelphia, as the Flyers scored three times in a span of just 2:36.
Simmonds had a breakaway opportunity stopped by a diving Brodeur with 13 minutes left in the period, but it didn't take long for Simmonds to enact revenge.
With Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky in the penalty box for hooking, Brayden Schenn misfired on a shot from the point, but an alert Simmonds took the rebound and misdirected a backhand the eluded Brodeur for the game-tying goal. It was Simmonds' fourth goal of the season.
The Flyers struck again just 1:48 later, when Knuble took a pass from Ruslan Fedotenko and rifled it past Brodeur for his second goal of the season, giving Philadelphia a 2-1 lead.
Then, just 48 seconds later, the Flyers pushed the lead to two goals, when Read was wide open in front and whipped a slap shot behind Brodeur, giving the Flyers a commanding 3-1 lead heading into the second period.
The Devils came out with intensity in the second period, with the newly re-acquired Ponikorovsky scoring a goal just 26 seconds into the period. Kovalchuk and Brodeur were credited with assists on Ponikorovsky's third goal of the season and first with the Devils since last season's Stanley Cup playoffs.
It was the 41st assist of Brodeur's career and his first since Feb. 5, 2012, against Pittsburgh. Kovalchuk recorded his second assist of the game, giving him multiple points in three of the last five games.
Ironically, Ponikorovsky scored a goal against the Flyers in his first game with the Devils last season after being acquired in trade with Carolina. Ponikorovsky had the lone goal in the Devils' 4-1 loss to Philadelphia on Jan. 20, 2012.
The second period was marked by the same frantic pace as the first, with multiple scoring chances on both ends.
The Devils tied the game with 4:20 left in the second period, when Elias made an alert play entering the ice on a line change. He found the puck unguarded from 25 feet out and fired a wrist shot past Bryzgalov to knot the game at 3-3. Kovalchuk received his third assist of the game on the play and Zajac also received an assist.
The two teams headed into the third period tied at 3-3.
NOTES: After the Devils placed forward Dainius Zubrus on the injured reserve list following wrist surgery, the team brought back Ponikarovsky, who played a huge role in the Devils' rush to the Stanley Cup Finals last June. He was acquired in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets for a seventh-round draft pick in 2013 and a fourth-rounder in the 2014 draft. Ponikarovsky signed with the Jets in the offseason, but wasn't a good fit there, scoring only two goals in 12 games. "Everything kind of flashed back," said Ponikarovsky, who wore the No. 12 he wore last season with the Devils. "I knew the team that I'm coming to play for and I know the system and everything, and it was just that feeling that I never left when I got back. So, it's all in the memories right now and the guys were pretty happy to see me and me the same way as well. So, it's all good." ... Zubrus will be out for four-to-six weeks. ... Ponikarovsky scored one goal for the Devils in the 2012 NHL Playoffs. He is the 23rd player to be re-acquired by the Devils after playing elsewhere. ... The Devils scratched rookie Stefan Matteau, as well as defenseman Henrik Tallinder for the eighth straight game. ... The Flyers scratched forward Tom Sestito, the brother of Devil farmhand Tim Sestito, currently with Albany of the AHL. ... The Flyers entered the game with a 1-4-1 record after surrendering the first goal.