PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Dainus Zubrus scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and Michael Cammalleri had two goals, leading the New Jersey Devils to a season-opening 6-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
Michael Ryder, Adam Henrique, and Patrick Elias also scored for the Devils.
Claude Giroux had a goal and Wayne Simmonds scored twice to help the Flyers rally from a three-goal deficit. Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Flyers, who lost 2-1 in their season opener Wednesday night against Boston.
The Devils won the first of a four-game road trip, the second-longest stretch to start a season in team history.
Cory Schneider won his first game in goal since taking over full-time for Martin Brodeur and signing a $42 million, seven-year contract in the summer.
The Devils blew 3-0 and 4-3 leads before taking the lead for good on Zubrus’ goal early in the third.
Elias had snapped a tie game with a goal early in the third to make it 4-3.
Much like they did in the second period, the Flyers came storming back with the tying goal. Lecavalier, a disappointment last year in his first season with the Flyers, scored off a 2-on-1 break to make it 4-all.
Zubrus, though, wiped out the momentum with the go-ahead goal only 15 seconds later. Moments after the Flyers killed a penalty, Zubrus poked the puck from the right circle off goaltender Steve Mason’s stick, and the lead held this time.
The Devils seemingly had the game in hand after three straight goals on nine shots against Mason.
Mason, starting his second game in two nights, was caught up in a pair of deflections that gave the Devils the early edge.
Ryder fired one from the circle over Mason’s right shoulder for a goal in the first.
The Devils added two more in the second, both on deflections. Henrique’s shot went off Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn’s skate and Cammalleri scored off a similar bounce for a 3-0 lead just 5:33 into the second.
New Jersey’s Jaromir Jagr had an assist on the goal for his 1,756th career point, sixth on the NHL’s career scoring list. He also assisted on Cammalleri’s empty-netter in the final seconds.
Down by three, the Flyers rallied.
Giroux, still rounding into shape after missing part of the preseason with an unspecified injury, cut it to 3-1 on a slapper.
Simmonds then scored twice in 57 seconds to tie it at 3. His first goal was pretty much kicked into the net. Simmonds stuck his second one just under the buzzer. His tying goal was reviewed — and when the videoboard showed his goal just made it with 0.6 seconds left, the crowd roared.
Simmonds has been on a bit of a hot streak at home, although his last two games were separated by about six months. He scored three goals against the New York Rangers in Game 6 of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff game.
Mason stopped only 20 shots after posting 31 saves in the opener.
NOTES: Flyers D Braydon Coburn was a late scratch with a lower body injury. He was on crutches during player introductions. … The Devils and Flyers don’t play each other again until Jan. 3. … The Devils are 19-8-5 in openers since 1982.
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