PHILADELPHIA (AP) --The team with the NHL's best record finally
found a way to beat the club with the worst mark.
Radovan Somik, Eric Weinrich, and Chris Therien all scored their
first goals of the season to help the Philadelphia Flyers extend
their home-unbeaten streak to 13 games with a 5-2 victory Wednesday
night over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The teams tied twice earlier this season, once in Philadelphia
and last week in Pittsburgh.
Jeremy Roenick and Mark Recchi also scored for Philadelphia, the
only team in the NHL still unbeaten at home (11-0-2). The Flyers
had their overall 12-game unbeaten run (10-0-2) snapped with a loss
Monday at Ottawa.
"Pittsburgh's played us tough all year," Therien said.
"They're competitive, they have young guys that are working for
jobs, and that's the way the league is right now. They have a young
team with a lot of exuberance and they are a hard team to play
Jeff Hackett stopped 30 shots to extend his unbeaten streak to
seven games (6-0-1) for the Flyers, who lead the NHL with 36
"Once in a while it's kind of nice to get out there and get in
a rhythm and feel good because you're getting lots of work,"
Hackett said. "Sometimes the games are tougher when you're only
getting 15 shots. I think tonight was my best game for a while.
"It was nice to come out and feel like you really contributed
and really had to make a difference."
Matt Bradley and Ramzi Abid scored for the Penguins, who snapped
a three-game winless streak on Monday with a victory against
Atlanta. Pittsburgh has won only two of 12 road games (2-9-1) and
has the fewest points in the NHL with 17.
Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock said he knew the Flyers were
going to win the game.
How did he know?
"Because we are a better team," Hitchcock said. "We have more
talent. We are deeper, we have a good work ethic. I knew we were
going to win the game. Pittsburgh is not going to beat us at
Bradley put the Penguins ahead 1-0 just 20 seconds into the
first period, hammering in a rebound of a shot by Ryan Malone that
bounced off Hackett's pad.
The Flyers tied it at 5:29, nine seconds into a power play, when
Roenick tipped in a slap shot by Eric Desjardins from inside the
Somik made it 2-1 at 10:44. He skated in from the left side and
momentarily lost control of the puck. He regained possession in
time to stuff it under Sebastien Caron's outstretched glove.
The Flyers broke it open with two goals in a span of 49 seconds
in the second period. After Weinrich scored on a long slap shot at
13:13, Therien beat Caron low to the glove side with a wrist shot
from the left circle at 14:02.
"The Flyers are one of the teams who has a legitimate chance to
go to the Stanley Cup," Pittsburgh coach Eddie Olczyk said. "I
think they knew they were in a hockey game. I thought we played
well. Our penalty killing let us down tonight which has been a real
bright spot for us."
Abid and Recchi traded third-period goals. It was Recchi's
team-leading 11th of the season.
"The Flyers are one of the best teams in the NHL, but tonight
we worked hard and created a lot of scoring chances," Abid said.
"You never know, if we had capitalized on a couple of them it
might have been a different game."
Caron made a diving glove save to rob Sami Kapanen's
breakaway attempt in the second period. ... The Flyers, who entered
with the NHL's top power play, scored on two of six chances. ...
Philadelphia has an eight-game undefeated streak against Pittsburgh
in Philadelphia (7-0-1) and a seven-game unbeaten streak against
the Penguins overall (5-0-2). ... John LeClair assisted on Somik's
goal for his 601st point with the Flyers, tying Rod Brind'Amour for
seventh place on the club's career list.