Briere's OT goal lifts Flyers past Devils

PHILADELPHIA — Danny Briere's flair for postseason heroics, and James van Riemsdyk rekindling his playoff magic from last season were the main storylines in the Flyers' 4-3 overtime win over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday afternoon.

But several little things contributed mightily to the opening-game victory in the Eastern Conference semifinals at the electric Wells Fargo Center.

Things such as rookie Eric Wellwood using his speed to draw two New Jersey penalties.

Or the Flyers winning 55 percent of the faceoffs, including Claude Giroux taking 13 of his last 19 draws — after going just 1 for 6 during his team's awful first period.

Or, perhaps most important, the Flyers pinning the Devils in their zone over the last two-plus periods with a ferocious forecheck.

"I think we moved our legs pretty well since the second period," said Flyers winger Jakub Voracek, who had two assists in the victory. "We made them play with the puck more often. We put the pressure on them. They made a few turnovers which led to some goals."

The Devils took the first 11 shots in the opening 10 minutes as they took a 1-0 lead. After that, after the Flyers regained their legs following a week-long layoff and got their forecheck into gear, the hosts outshot New Jersey, 36-15, the rest of the way.

"How we played in those last two periods, that's our game," said defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who made a deft pass to set up Claude Giroux's power-play goal early in the third period.

Coyotes 5, Predators 3

At Glendale, Ariz., Shane Doan, Radim Vrbata and Antoine Vermette each had a goal and an assist, Mike Smith made 30 saves, and Phoenix avoided its usual overtime theatrics, beating Nashville to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.

Martin Hanzal and Taylor Pyatt also scored for the Coyotes. Ryan Suter, Patric Hornqvist and Andrei Kostitsyn scored for the Predators.

Phoenix scored three times on 19 second-period shots. The Coyotes built a two-goal lead early in the second period. Nashville twice cut it to one only to see Phoenix quickly respond.

The Coyotes did not go into overtime for only the second time in eight playoff games.

The best-of-seven series shifts to Nashville for Game 3 on Wednesday night.

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