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Panthers Take 4-1 Win Over Flyers

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
(Philadelphia, PA, March 20) – The Florida Panthers scored two goals in the second and two in the third en route to a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center on Tuesday night.

With the game tied 1-1 in the second, a neutral zone turnover led to the game-winning goal.

Goaltender Martin Biron played the puck up the boards, but it was out of reach of defenseman Randy Jones. Jozef Stumpel found it and chipped it ahead to Olli Jokinen, who got behind defenseman Braydon Coburn. Jokinen skated in alone on Biron and scored with 1:32 remaining before the intermission.

Nathan Horton made it a 3-1 game at 16:13 of the third period with a wrist shot from the faceoff circle, while an odd-man rush by Florida late in the game resulted in a goal by Juraj Kolnik to cap the scoring.

"We gave them some breakouts and some opportunities and you can't have that," said Biron.

With the win, Florida captured all four games in the season series.

After a scoreless first period, Florida scored two of the three goals in the second frame.

First, David Booth found the rebound of a shot from the point through heavy traffic at 2:44 to open the scoring for Florida.

A pretty move by Dmitry Afanasenkov tied the game. The left winger got control of the puck in the circle, cut to the slot, and backhanded the puck past Ed Belfour at 13:02 to make it 1-1. Afanasenkov has 10 points in his last 12 games (5g, 5a).

"I think that he has more offensive upside than has been realized at this point in his career," said John Stevens. "It looks like he has shown some consistency as a guy that is able to put the puck in the net."

The Flyers had a great chance to tie the game early in the third period while trailing 2-1. Mike Richards skated up the ice on a two-on-one, tried to slide a pass through the slot to Stefan Ruzicka, but it was broken up by defenseman Mike Van Ryn. Richards fell and went hard into the boards and left the game, not to return.

Denis Gauthier, who dished out several good, clean hits on the night, also got hurt.

"Mike Richards has a grade one separation of his left shoulder. He will probably be out a week to ten days," said Paul Holmgren. "Denis Gauthier, it is his right wrist. We are just waiting on the x-rays, but there is a mild concern there."

Richards, who assisted on the goal by Afanasenkov, has 16 points in his last 14 games (4g, 12a).

The Flyers ended the game 0-for-6 on the power play, and are now just 4-for-60 over the last 15 games.

"We're working on the power play but we're not paying a big enough price," said Stevens.

They did, however, kill off two Florida power plays to up their penalty-killing streak to 36 in a row over the last nine games.

Philadelphia was still without injured wingers Simon Gagne (left groin strain) and Scottie Upshall (upper body injury).

The Flyers travel north to take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night (7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, 610 WIP).

Ryan Potulny, recalled from the Phantoms on Monday, played in his first game with the Flyers since January 30. … Mike York, Alexandre Picard and Robert Esche were the scratches.
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