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Veterans will lead Flyers and Devils

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Jaromir Jagr's long hair that once flowed beneath his helmet is much shorter now, and his playoff beard has plenty of gray in it.

Like the man he'll be shooting pucks at in the next round of the playoffs, Jagr is the old man in the dressing room these days. But both Jagr and Martin Brodeur have shown they have plenty of game left.

The familiar foes will meet again when the Philadelphia Flyers open the Eastern semifinals against the New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center today (3 p.m., Ch. 2).

"It's going to be special, that's for sure," Jagr said. "He's going to turn 40 and I'm already 40."

Jagr and Brodeur were selected in the same round of the 1990 NHL entry draft. The Pittsburgh Penguins chose Jagr, the tall, slender forward from Czechoslovakia, with the fifth overall pick. Brodeur, the skinny goalie from Montreal, went to the Devils as the 20th overall pick.

Great moves for both teams.

"He's been a great player for a lot of years," Brodeur said. "It's a pleasant surprise that he can play this well at this level in the NHL after being away. He's always been a tough player to go up against. It's a big challenge, but we can't focus on one guy. We can't say that if we just take care of Jagr, we'll be in good shape. They have a ton of players who can create problems."


Coyotes back to work

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes got away with one and know it.

Despite being dominated by Nashville in the third period and giving up another late goal in regulation, the Coyotes pulled out a 4-3 overtime win over the Predators to open the Western Conference semifinals Friday.

The teams will continue their series here tonight (8 p.m., NBCSN).

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