PHILADELPHIA -- Danny Briere is Mr. Playoffs.
Briere scored his second goal of the game 4:36 into overtime to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series Sunday.
Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk also scored for Philadelphia.
Petr Sykora, Zach Parise and Travis Zajac had New Jersey's goals.
Minutes after he had a goal reversed because he kicked it in, Briere fired a slap shot past Martin Brodeur for his seventh goal of the playoffs.
Briere has 106 points (49 goals, 57 assists) in 104 career playoff games, including 26 goals and 49 points in 41 games over the last three seasons.
"I grew up watching the Stanley Cup playoffs as a kid," Briere said. "I always dreamed I'd have a chance to play in those big games. When I have the opportunity, you try to make the best of it and try to enjoy it as much as possible. It's not really pressure. It's a fun time, an exciting time."
Brodeur, who presumably is headed to the Hall of Fame whenever he retires, is winless in his last 11 starts at the Wells Fargo Center.
He was screened by van Riemsdyk on the shot.
"The referees have a hard job. Definitely van Riemsdyk pushed my stick down and prevented me from making the save," Brodeur said.
Game 2 is Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 saves for the Flyers.
The Devils tied it at 3 on Sykora's breakaway goal with 8:18 left. Sykora took a long pass from David Clarkson, outraced two defenders and broke in on Bryzgalov. He faked a slap shot, held the puck and then flipped it between Bryzgalov's legs.
Moments later, Brodeur made a sliding save on van Riemsdyk's breakaway shot. Brodeur stoned van Riemsdyk again on a breakaway with just over three minutes left.
Coming off an outstanding opening-round series, Giroux continued to show why he's arguably the best player in the league. He fired a one-timer from the left faceoff circle past Brodeur on the power play to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead early in the third.
Giroux won the faceoff and skated over to the right wing. The puck went down low to Scott Hartnell, who passed it back out to the point to Kimmo Timonen. He slid it over to Giroux, who blasted it in for his seventh goal of the playoffs.
The sixth-seeded Devils rallied from a 3-2 series deficit to beat Florida in consecutive overtime games. They barely had any rest time after advancing early Friday morning when rookie Adam Henrique scored the winner in the second overtime.
"I don't think anyone was tired," Parise said. "I don't think fatigue played any part."
Meanwhile, the Flyers played their first game in a week after knocking off the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.
Known for their slow starts, the Flyers showed plenty of rust from their long layoff. They didn't even manage a shot on net until midway through the first period.
"We weren't fast enough, we weren't desperate enough in the first period," van Riemsdyk said.
The Flyers finally got going in the second period, scoring two goals 37 seconds apart to take a 2-1 lead.
First, Briere slipped behind the defense, took an outlet pass from Jake Voracek, broke in and beat Brodeur.
"He's a great player," Bryzgalov said of Briere. "We know what he's capable of doing. When he has the chance, he always puts it behind the net. He's a great player, a great scorer."
Then, van Riemsdyk ripped a slap shot into an open net after Brodeur made a sliding save on a shot by Erik Gustafsson. Voracek checked Brodeur behind the net, setting up an errant clearing attempt that went to Gustafsson.
Brodeur had robbed Max Talbot on a one-timer from in front a few minutes earlier to preserve the 1-0 lead.
A power-play goal by Zajac tied it at 2 with 6:07 left in the second. Parise made a perfect centering pass to Zajac, who redirected the puck under Bryzgalov for his fourth playoff goal.
Parise gave the Devils a 1-0 lead 3:16 into the game. The Devils took advantage of a turnover behind the net by Matt Read. Patrik Elias made a nifty move to get the puck to Parise, who wristed it past Bryzgalov for his third goal of the playoffs.
Devils coach Peter DeBoer shuffled his top two lines to split up Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk, his two best scorers. Parise moved from the right wing on the top line to left wing on the second line.
The move paid off quickly.
"That was embarrassing," Giroux said of the team's slow start. "We can't come out like that. It's unacceptable. We're lucky we had Bryz make some great stops."
Bryzgalov won all three starts against the Devils in the regular season, including two shutouts. He allowed just one goal on 76 shots in four appearances, posting a 0.29 goals-against average and .987 save percentage.
Notes: The Flyers and Devils have split their four previous playoff meetings. New Jersey won in the conference finals en route to Stanley Cup championships in 1995 and 2000. The Flyers won in the first round in 2004 and 2010. ... Brodeur ranks second all-time in playoff history with 103 playoff victories. ... The Flyers are 23-8 when they win Game 1. ... Brodeur is just 10-14, and has lost nine of his last 11 playoff games against Philadelphia. ... This was the 18th overtime already this postseason.
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