Forsberg-to-Gagne combo lifts Flyers past Devils

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Simon Gagne is benefiting from Peter
Forsberg's presence.

Gagne scored twice and Jon Sim had the go-ahead goal, leading
the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils
on Friday night.

Michal Handzus and Turner Stevenson also had goals for the
Flyers, who scored five straight.

Jamie Langenbrunner and Alexander Mogilny netted power-play
goals to give New Jersey a 2-0 lead.

Forsberg, the Flyers' biggest offseason acquisition, has four
assists in two games. Three have come on goals by Gagne.

"He sees me pretty well on the ice. He's amazing," Gagne said.
"He finds me everywhere. He's fun to play with."

The new-look Flyers, who revamped their roster and came in as
strong favorites to win the Stanley Cup, evened their record after
losing their opener to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

Sim put the Flyers ahead 3-2 just 39 seconds into the third
period. Sim took a pass from behind the net from Mike Richards and
lifted a slap shot past goaltender Martin Brodeur.

Handzus gave Philadelphia a two-goal cushion, beating Brodeur
with a shot on the stick side almost six minutes later. Stevenson,
a former Devils player, scored on a short-handed breakaway to seal
the victory.

"We were tentative, but once we got angry, we got some emotion
and we were ready to go," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said.

The Flyers and Devils last met in the first round of the 2003-04
playoffs. Philadelphia eliminated its longtime nemesis in five
games and went all the way to the seventh game of the Eastern
Conference Finals, before losing to eventual Stanley Cup winner
Tampa Bay.

The additions of former NHL MVP Forsberg, defenseman Derian
Hatcher and rookies Richards and Jeff Carter made the Flyers early
favorites to win their first championship in 30 years.

New Jersey, which won the Cup in 2003, is trying to overcome
losing defensemen Scott Stevens (retired) and Scott Niedermayer

"The Flyers are so freewheeling, they're able to hit your stick
with their glove, just touch you a little bit," Brodeur said.
"It's hard to get your position. It's hard to move around the net,
especially against a team like that. That's their strength and they
use it. They go hard to the net."

Gagne tied it at 2 with help from a video replay late in the
second. He wristed a shot that was knocked down by defenseman
Richard Matvichuk. But Matvichuk kicked the puck under Brodeur then
pulled it out with his glove from behind the goal line. Gagne was
awarded his third goal after the replay.

"It was probably between my legs," Brodeur said. "I don't
think it was in my lap. I never had it."

Gagne cut the Flyers' deficit to 2-1 midway through the second,
backhanding a shot past Brodeur after a nifty pass from Forsberg
across the front of the net.

"Gagne's a good goal-scorer," said Forsberg, who led Colorado
to two championships, before coming to Philadelphia after the

Langenbrunner gave the Devils a 1-0 lead 3:07 in. He deflected a
shot from the point by Paul Martin past goaltender Antero

Mogilny made it 2-0 with a one-timer off a pass from Martin
early in the second. Both of New Jersey's goals were scored with
defenseman Chris Therien in the penalty box.

In the first, the Flyers had a goal by Sim nullified because the
whistle had blown. Right before that, Brian Savage hit the post
with a slap shot.

Niittymaki, who helped the Philadelphia Phantoms win the AHL
championship last spring, made 26 saves.

"I think Brodeur is the best goalie in the world," Niittymaki
said. "It's always fun to play someone like that. It gives you an
extra something."
Game notes
: Hatcher sat out the second game of a three-game suspension
for elbowing Calgary's Matthew Lombardi in the head during the 2004
playoffs when he played for Detroit. ... The Flyers have sold out
their first two games. ... The Devils have scored a pair of
power-play goals in each of their first two games.