<
>

Flyers' Esche, Panthers' Hurme strong in net

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Whether they are even-strength, short-handed
or on the power play, the Philadelphia Flyers just aren't scoring
goals.

Kristian Huselius had a goal and Jani Hurme stopped 29 shots as
the Florida Panthers tied the Flyers 1-1 on Wednesday night.

The Flyers are winless in their last three games, yet are off to
a 9-3-3 start under new coach Ken Hitchcock. They have just three
goals during their winless streak.

"We didn't sustain a lot of pressure,'' Flyers captain Keith
Primeau said. "We wanted to play the game in their end. It's
frustrating.''

Florida is unbeaten in its last three games (1-0-2).

"They were a team that had come off two road losses and had a
level of desperation in their game. We were equal to the task,''
Panthers coach Mike Keenan said.

Pavel Brendl gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead 2:29 into the second
period with his second goal. He skated around from behind the net,
drew Jani Hurme out of position and backhanded a shot from in front of
the crease into an empty net.

"I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the puck, but then I
got it back behind the net, I tried to put it upstairs, fanned on
it a little bit, but the goalie was out of the net and it was
empty-net goal,'' Brendl said.

Huselius tied it at 1 on his eighth goal with 1:10 left in the
second period. Sandis Ozolinsh took a slap shot from just inside
the blue line and the puck bounced off Huselius past goaltender
Robert Esche.

The Panthers had a power play late in regulation, but didn't get
a shot. The Flyers had the best chance to score during the penalty
when Marty Murray picked up a loose puck near the blue line, and
broke in alone. But Hurme made a stick save to preserve the tie.

"It's great to get one point in this building,'' Hurme said.
"This is a great place to play.''

Esche stopped 28 shots, including a chest save on a slap shot by
Ozolinsh in overtime.

Hurme's best stop was a pad save on a backhander by Todd Fedoruk
late in the first.

The Flyers were 0-for-2 on the power play, and now have failed
to score in their last 19 opportunities with a man-advantage. They
have just two goals in their last 39 chances after starting the
season 11-for-49.

"We had a lot of chances,'' Flyers forward John LeClair said.
"This is a game you want to win, especially at home against a team
you should beat.''

Game notes
The crowd of 18,834 at the First Union Center was the
smallest since 1996. The Flyers, who sold out 27 games last year,
have just one sellout in eight home games. ... Panthers goalie
Robert Luongo missed his fourth straight game because of an injured
back. ... The Flyers are unbeaten in their last five games (4-0-1)
against the Panthers. Florida's last win was 2-1 on April 3, 2001
in Philadelphia. ... Huselius has at least one point in five
straight games. ... Florida has gotten at least one point in each
of the six games Hurme has played. ... The Panthers have played in
eight overtime games, most in the NHL. ... Philadelphia is 8-0-3
when it scores first. ... Flyers forward left the game in the third
period after injuring his shoulder on a hard hit from Peter
Worrell. Hitchcock said he the injury doesn't appear to be serious.