DEVILS 4, FLYERS 3 (OT): Alexei Ponikarovsky scored 17:21 into overtime as host New Jersey won Game 3 to seize a 2-1 advantage in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Ilya Kovalchuk's stretch pass connected with Ponikarovsky, who wristed a shot that was denied by Ilya Bryzgalov. Ponikarovsky settled the rebound and promptly backhanded the puck past the Russian netminder to send the Prudential Center into a frenzy.
Patrik Elias and Kovalchuk tallied 20 seconds apart in the first period and captain Zach Parise also scored for the Devils, who will look to push their Atlantic Division rival to the brink of elimination when they host Game 4 on Sunday.
Danny Briere recorded his 50th career postseason goal and rookie Brayden Schenn and defenseman Matt Carle also scored for the Flyers, who fell to 1-4 when scoring first in the postseason.
After Parise gave New Jersey a 3-2 lead at 7:29 of the third period when he tucked the puck past Bryzgalov on the doorstep, Briere leveled the contest just over 3 1/2 minutes later. The veteran cleaned up a rebound off James van Riemsdyk's shot before tapping the puck past Martin Brodeur for his NHL-leading eighth goal of the playoffs.
After Schenn opened the scoring at 6:08 of the first period, Elias tied it up with a power-play goal nearly 6 1/2 minutes later. The veteran hesitated before unleashing a shot from the right faceoff circle that sailed between Bryzgalov's blocker and body.
Kovalchuk gave New Jersey a 2-1 lead just 20 seconds later when he skated through the slot and wristed a shot just inside the right post.
Carle tied the contest at 4:44 of the second period with a blast from the left faceoff circle.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The game was the 20th of the postseason to venture into overtime. The visiting team has won 13 times. ... The Flyers won all three previous postseason overtime games against the Devils (1995, 2010, 2012). ... The Devils' first-period goals were the quickest in the franchise's postseason history. ... Philadelphia rookie Sean Couturier suffered a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return.