NEWARK, N.J. -- There is always the potential for a letdown when a team comes back from a long road trip out west.
After going 4-1 through Western Canada and the U.S., the Flyers snuck back into town early Sunday morning, had a brisk practice the following day at Skate Zone, then headed to New Jersey to face the Devils on Tuesday night at Prudential Center.
They looked lethargic for two periods. No energy.
Ah, but they discovered their legs and mojo in third period as the Flyers stunned the Devils, 3-2, in overtime on Brayden Schenn's goal. It was their sixth third-period comeback victory since Dec. 4.
Ray Emery got his second start over the last four games and played very well with quality saves on Adam Henrique and Ryane Clowe to keep the score 1-0 going into the final period.
The key moment for the Flyers came early in the third period during a power play and them trailing, 1-0.
Claude Giroux, snubbed for an Olympic berth with Team Canada, fired a wicked wrister from atop the left circle past Marty Brodeur to tie it.
Scott Hartnell lost an assist on the goal after initially being credited with one. No matter, at 9:49 he got it back with a shot off the rush from the circle to make it 2-1.
They were 29.6 seconds left from winning in regulation before Michael Ryder tied it and sent it to overtime with a shorthanded goal.
The Flyers return home Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center to face Montreal, which has been lying in waiting.
It was horrendous for the Flyers. In the opening seven minutes, they were scored upon, had one non-descript power play and had to defend on a five-on-three power play. Collectively, the Flyers were flat-footed all-around and Emery was slow to react in net. No effort and no energy, which is why Flyers coach Craig Berube juggled his lines.
Schenn suffered a skate cut on his left side early in the second period after colliding with Dainius Zubrus. He returned to play. Nick Grossmann suffered a left hand injury that same period and missed some shifts. Giroux took a stick to the face late in the game from Travis Zajac.
You can’t argue with Emery’s lifetime numbers against the Devils going into the game: 6-4-2, 1.91 goals-against average, a .930 save percentage and two shutouts.
Marty Brodeur’s previous lifetime numbers against the Flyers are a tad on the terrific side: 2.38 GAA, .908 save percentage, 12 shutouts.
That’s what Jaromir Jagr did in the opening minute of play. He tied Mario Lemieux for seventh all-time in career points (1,723). Jagr assisted on Henrique’s goal 57 seconds into the game. The Flyers got caught in an odd-man rush.
The Devils had a brief five-on-three power play in the first period but did not get a quality chance out of it.
The Flyers seemed indecisive against the Devils on their power plays but that may have something to do with the shot blocking New Jersey does. Jakub Voracek had a stellar chance to tie the game late in the second period but Brodeur made a save at the right post. Earlier in the period, Steve Downie had Brodeur beaten from slightly farther away on the same side and his hesitation was enough to allow the goalie to make the save.
Power play revisited
On their fourth opportunity of the night, Giroux tied it 1-1 at 5:18 on the third period. That was his 13th goal and fourth power-play marker this season.
Hartnell has a career-high eight-game point streak -- three goals, nine points over that span.
Leading after two periods
New Jersey was 10-0-1 going into the game.
Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov had several quality blocks, including breaking up a Flyers shorthanded rush against Giroux in the second period.
Defenseman Erik Gustafsson (knee sprain) and forward Matt Read (upper body) were both injured; forward Jay Rosehill was a healthy scratch.