Rookie Somik scores fourth goal in four games

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- The Philadelphia Flyers already have plenty
of scorers on their roster, but they might have discovered another
one just in time for the playoffs.

Radovan Somik capped a strong finish to the regular season with
two goals and an assist Sunday as he led the streaking Flyers to a
6-2 victory over the Florida Panthers.

Somik had four goals in his last four games after scoring only
four times in his first 56.

"I've changed nothing,'' said Somik, who missed 22 games this
season because of various injuries. "Just more luck. I try to
shoot more and sometimes it goes in.''

The Flyers ended the regular season on an eight-game unbeaten
streak (6-0-2). Philadelphia won a franchise-best 24 road games.

"It's great for our confidence,'' LeClair said. "We're
confident the way we're playing right now and hopefully it can
carry on into the playoffs.''

Keith Primeau, Marty Murray, John LeClair and Jim Vandermeer
also scored for the Flyers, who will face Toronto in the first

Murray and Somik scored 15 seconds apart late in the first
period to help the Flyers take a 3-0 lead.

"It was important to get off to a good start and set the
pace,'' Primeau said.

Murray, Todd Fedoruk and Eric Chouinard combined for seven
points after being healthy scratches in the Flyers' previous game.

Florida trailed 5-0 before Ivan Novolsetsev and Stephane Matteau
scored. The Panthers finished with the worst home record (8-21-7-5)
in franchise history, and scored a team-record low 176 goals.

"We were lackadaisical, not sharp,'' Panthers center Stephen
Weiss said. "These guys want to win the Stanley Cup. They came out
sharp and got a few right off the bat and that was it. Maybe if we
had started better it would have been a different outcome.''

Already assured of finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference,
Philadelphia rested defenseman Eric Weinrich and forwards Mark
Recchi, Tony Amonte, Sami Kapanen and Jeremy Roenick.

Robert Esche made 25 saves in his first start for the Flyers
since March 24. Philadelphia finished tied with New Jersey for
fewest goals allowed in the league (166). The teams goalies will
share the Jennings Trophy.

"That's good stuff, that's really good stuff,'' Flyers coach
Ken Hitchcock said. "The goalies get the award, but I think the
goalies recognize, too, this is a team award. It means that when
you're good defensively you know how to work. Our goaltending was
good when we needed.

"Esche was terrific today. He made some big saves. We've had
good goaltending all year.''

Jani Hurme started in goal for Florida, but struggled despite
finishing with 33 saves.

Primeau opened the scoring at 11:52 of the first period. Hurme
left his crease to play a loose puck, but got tangled up with
defenseman Ivan Majesky. Primeau got to the puck first and shot
into an open net.

Murray made it 2-0 at 14:24 when he took a beautiful pass from
Chouinard from behind the net and beat Hurme with a low shot.

Fifteen seconds later, Somik scored after picking up a loose
puck in the slot and beating Hurme.

LeClair made it 4-0 at 6:32 of the second period when he scored
on a slap shot from the point on a power play. Hurme then let
Vandermeer's slap shot from outside the blue line trickle through
his glove to make it 5-0 at 8:18 of the second.

"We left this guy (Hurme) out to dry the first two periods,''
Florida forward Peter Worrell said. "It's too bad we didn't show
up. We got our butts kicked.''

Game notes
Philadelphia tied a season high for first-period shots
with 18. ... Flyers RW Justin Williams saw his first action since
sustaining a partial of a ligament in his left knee on Jan. 18
against Tampa Bay. Williams missed 36 games. ... The Flyers have
won six in a row at Florida since a 3-1 loss on Jan. 17, 2000. ...
The last game of the regular season drew Florida's sixth sellout
crowd of the season. ... Panthers RW Denis Shvidki missed the game
because of a knee injury sustained Friday night against Carolina.