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Ponikarovsky gives Devils overtime win

NEWARK, N.J. — Alexei Ponikarovsky scored on his rebound with 2:39 left in overtime, and the Devils beat the Flyers 4-3 on Thursday night to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

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The Flyers were caught on a line change, which allowed Ponikarovsky some open ice. Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov stopped the first shot but couldn't handle the rebound.

"I didn't have time to celebrate because everyone jumped on me right away, but I had a great time in the pile," Ponikarovsky said.

The Devils killed off two penalties in overtime before Ponikarovsky came through with his first goal of the postseason.

Ilya Kovalchuk, who returned to the lineup after missing Game 2 with a back problem, set up the winner and also had a goal and three points total.

The Flyers scored the game's first goal, at 6:08 of the first by Brayden Schenn. They are 1-4 when they score first in these playoffs, 4-0 when they don't.

Devils 2 0 1 1 4
Flyers 1 1 1 0 3

First Period1, Phila, Schenn 3 (Briere, Jagr), 6:08 (pp). 2, N.J., Elias 3 (Zidlicky, Kovalchuk), 12:33 (pp). 3, N.J., Kovalchuk 4 (Zajac, Ponikarovsky), 12:53. PenaltiesHenrique, NJ (tripping), 4:48; Coburn, Phi (tripping), 12:09.

Second Period4, Phila, Carle 2 (Voracek, Hartnell), 4:44. PenaltiesLarsson, NJ (high-sticking), 9:54; Kovalchuk, NJ (delay of game), 16:28; Schenn, Phi (goaltender interference), 17:52.

Third Period5, N.J., Parise 4 (Elias, Zidlicky), 7:29. 6, Phila, Briere 8 (van Riemsdyk, Simmonds), 11:04. PenaltiesNone. First Overtime7, N.J., Ponikarovsky 1 (Kovalchuk), 17:21. PenaltiesZubrus, NJ (boarding), 8:23; Salvador, NJ (delay of game), 12:29. Shots on GoalPhila 7-9-6-6—28. N.J. 14-4-7-6—31. Power-play opportunitiesPhila 1 of 5; N.J. 1 of 2. GoaliesPhila, Bryzgalov 5-4-0 (31 shots-27 saves). N.J., Brodeur 6-3-0 (28-25).

predators-coyotes: Nashville coach Barry Trotz said he didn't know if he would return forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn to the lineup for tonight's Game 4 after their suspensions for violating team rules (breaking curfew the night before Sunday's Game 2, a 5-3 Coyotes win, according to media reports).

Torres appeals suspension length: The Coyotes' Raffi Torres is appealing the length of his 25-game suspension for hitting the Blackhawks' Marian Hossa in the head when he left his skates for an open-ice check in their first-round playoff series. Torres and the players association will meet with commissioner Gary Bettman, who hears all appeals. No date had been set. Hossa was taken off the ice on a stretcher after the Game 3 hit April 17 and was briefly hospitalized. He didn't return to the series, which Phoenix won in six games.

Hossa 'feeling better': Hossa says he is "feeling better but still not feeling myself" after the hit but expects to be ready for training camp in September. Hossa also said on a conference call that Torres called him about a week after the hit. "It was nice he contacted me, but … I told him, 'I know you play that way, but the one thing that upset me (was) the jump; if you wouldn't jump, I wouldn't get hit in the head and you wouldn't have 25 games.' The phone conversation was pretty quick."

world championship: Lightning center Nate Thompson was named an alternate captain for the United States in the tournament, which begins today in Finland and Sweden. Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson was named captain and Jets center Jim Slater the other alternate captain.

Ponikarovsky gives Devils overtime win 05/04/12 [Last modified: Friday, May 4, 2012 1:29am]
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