40,000 strong watched Flyers cruise

Steve Downie scored two goals and Marty Biron was rock solid, as an estimated 40,000 viewers watched the Philadelphia Flyers take down the visiting New Jersey Devils, 4-1, in a preseason game, Monday night at the Wachovia Center.

Mike Richards opened scoring for the Flyers midway through the first period, netting a deflection from Andreas Nodl and Scott Hartnell.  Downie followed suit, firing a wrist shot deep in the slot past Kevin Weekes, to give the Flyers the 2-0 lead.

Then the expected fisticuffs started.  Riley Cote took on Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond at center ice.  Cote got the jump, battering Leblond’s chin as Leblond tried to fire back.  Solid punches were thrown back-and-forth before refs broke it up.  Cote won by decision, but Leblond gained some respect for handling the early beating.

The second period went by with little to no action, aside from another scrap, this time between Leblond and young brawler Matt Clackson.  Clackson got the jump on Leblond but Leblond battled back to make it interesting.

Biron was pulled after two periods of shutout hockey, he made 20 saves.

Downie struck again in the third period scoring his second of the game off a deflection from Braydon Coburn.

The Devils got on the board halfway through the third, when a pass behind the net from Nicklas Bergfors, was blasted home by Petr Vrana, past backup goalie Maxime Ouellet, to cot the Flyers lead to 3-1.

But the comeback effort would fail as Flyers’ forward Scottie Upshall would bury the empty netter, to give his team the 4-1 victory.

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