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Amonte has goal, assist in Philly debut

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Perhaps Tony Amonte can finally get some
sleep.

Amonte had a goal and an assist in his Philadelphia debut and
Keith Primeau scored the go-ahead goal 59 seconds into the third
period Thursday night as the Flyers beat the Carolina Hurricanes
5-3.

"I was really looking forward to it tonight,'' said Amonte,
obtained from Phoenix on Monday. "I could barely sleep this
afternoon or last night. I just wanted to get out there and get
that first game under your belt and make it a good one.''

The Flyers snapped the Hurricanes' season-high four-game winning
streak and moved within two points of first-place New Jersey in the
Atlantic Division.

"I definitely felt something before the game,'' Amonte said.
"I wasn't too nervous, but you know it's fun to go out and have a
good showing the first game. It was very emotional.''

Amonte assisted on Primeau's goal when his shot from the slot
bounced away from Carolina goaltender Patrick DesRochers. Primeau
put in the rebound for his 17th goal.

Amonte then made it 4-2 with a wrist shot from the slot. Radim
Vrbata scored his second goal in two nights to pull the Hurricanes
within a goal at 12:58, but Dmitry Yushkevich iced it for the
Flyers with a slap shot from the right point with 2:48 remaining.

Asked to assess his initial performance in Philadelphia, Amonte
said, "pretty good.''

Then the 13-year NHL veteran added, "we played pretty well. I
think we can do a little bit more offensively. We just have to keep
working at it.

"Things are just a little bit different. The forechecks are a
little bit different and you just have to be a little more
conscious of it when you don't have the puck. You have to be on the
defensive side and be ready to go.''

John LeClair, appearing in his first game since dislocating his
right shoulder at Pittsburgh on Nov. 27, and Eric Desjardins also
scored for the Flyers, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

"I felt pretty good,'' LaClair said. "I think everything that
I was involved in today didn't bother me as far as my shoulder so
I'm very pleased and very happy with the way things turned out.''

Jeff O'Neill and Bruno St. Jacques scored the other goals for
the Hurricanes, who were outshot 37-15.

"We were treading water out there with sandbags,'' said
Carolina coach Paul Maurice, whose Hurricanes won at Buffalo 3-2 in
overtime on Wednesday.

St. Jacques, acquired from the Flyers as part of the deal for
Sami Kapanen on Feb. 7, had tied the game 2-2 late in the second
period. With the teams skating four-on-four, St. Jacques one-timed
a cross-ice pass from Kevyn Adams.

"We got outshot pretty bad in the third period (18-3) but the
boys hung in there for us,'' Adams said. "But they (Flyers) showed
us how much better we have to be, I guess.''

LeClair, who missed 47 games after undergoing surgery on Dec. 4
to repair a torn labrum, had put the Flyers ahead earlier in the
second period when he deposited a wraparound into an open net.

The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead 4:16 into the game when a wrist
shot by Ron Francis through a screen bounced off O'Neill's skate
into the net. It was O'Neill's team-leading 28th goal.

Philadelphia tied it on another deflection. This time a shot
from the right boards by Donald Brashear was redirected by
Desjardins, who poked the puck through his legs of Carolina
defenseman Sean Hill and off the shoulder of DesRochers.

Game notes
The Flyers won the season series over Carolina 2-0-2, the
first time they went unbeaten against the Hurricanes since 1998-99.
... Philadelphia extended its unbeaten home streak against Carolina
to seven games (6-0-1). ... Desjardins played in his 633rd game
with the Flyers, tying Rod Brind'Amour for ninth place on the
club's career list. The Flyers are 5-0 when Desjardins scores a
goal. ... O'Neill leads Carolina with 55 points.