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Flyers are winless in last four

1/10/2004

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Tommy Salo made his first shutout of the
season look easy.

Salo stopped 26 shots for his 35th career shutout and 200th NHL
win in the Edmonton Oilers' 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia
Flyers on Saturday night.

"Sometimes the puck hits you and sometimes it doesn't, and
tonight was one of those nights," Salo said. "I saw most of the
shots and the guys played really well in front of me. We took care
of rebounds and got great defense."

Mike York had a goal and an assist, and Raffi Torres and Shawn
Horcoff also scored for the Oilers, who snapped a two-game losing
streak.

"We're out of the playoffs right now," Salo said. "We have to
get going in the second half and try to make sure we catch the
other teams."

Edmonton is last in the Northwest Division, four points behind
Nashville and Los Angeles, who are tied for the final playoff spot
in the Western Conference.

Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock questioned the Flyers' effort.

"It's very frustrating to the coaching staff when you need
people to pay the price," Hitchcock said. "Some guys are just
quite frankly not doing it and that is disappointing."

Philadelphia is 0-3-1 in its last four games and has been held
to one goal or less in three of those.

"We were outworked and outplayed," said Mike Comrie, who
played in his eighth game of the season after coming over from the
Oilers in a trade. "Being a professional, you have to play through
things and worry about only trying to get a win."

Salo's best save came midway through the second period when he
made a diving, sprawling stop of a shot by Michal Handzus on a
power play. He was also brilliant early in the game, stopping five
of the Flyers' first seven shots from point-blank range.

"Salo played terrifically tonight in his 500th game," Edmonton
coach Craig MacTavish said.

Salo has started eight of the Oilers' last nine games since
returning from a hip injury.

"Tommy didn't get a lot of shots early, but they were
one-on-one confrontations with the goalie," MacTavish said. "So
he had to make some big saves for us early to keep it scoreless."

MacTavish said that it was one of the Oilers' best overall games
of the year.

"I thought we checked as well as we checked all year long," he
said.

Torres put the Oilers ahead 1-0 at with five minutes left in the
first period. Edmonton came down on a 3-on-2 rush and Torres
redirected a cross-ice pass from York into the goal.

Horcoff picked up a loose puck and flipped it past Robert Esche
at 11:36 of the third period to make it 2-0. York scored on a
deflection 4:03 later.

The Oilers entered last in the league in penalty killing, having
stopped just 44 of opponents' 189 opportunities, but stopped all
five of Philadelphia's power plays -- including a pair of two-man
advantages spanning 3:24. The Flyers came in with the league's top
power play.

Game notes
Edmonton played the fifth of a six-game road trip that ends
at Washington on Sunday. ... Edmonton was without D Jason Smith
(sprained ankle). ... The Flyers have won one of their last five
against the Oilers in Philadelphia (1-3-1). ... The Flyers were
without C Keith Primeau (broken thumb) and D Joni Pitkanen (head
injury).