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Shorthanded Goals Lead to 3-2 Flyers Loss

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia, PA – Ethan Moreau scored two shorthanded breakaway goals in leading the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center.

Leading 2-1 at the time, the Oilers found themselves shorthanded following a holding call on Michael Peca. With several Flyers in deep looking for a loose puck in front of the crease, Jarret Stoll found Moreau at the top of the Edmonton zone and got him the puck. Moreau raced in on goaltender Antero Niittymaki and went forehand to backhand for what turned out to be the game-winner.

Sami Kapanen's wrist shot on a Flyers power play at 6:17 cut the lead to 3-2, but that was all of the offense that Philadelphia could muster.

"We gave up two short-handed goals today, both off of scoring chances of our own," said Ken Hitchcock. "When you've got young players playing back there, those are mistakes that are going to happen."

The only goal of the first period came with Edmonton shorthanded, as Moreau scooped up a turnover at the Flyers' blue line and raced in on a breakaway. Niittymaki made the original save, but the puck hit the post and Moreau jammed it in at 16:19.

Oilers goalie Michael Morrison was strong in the opening frame stopping all 14 Flyers shots, including five alone by Simon Gagne.

"If we could have scored on all our chances we had in the first period, it would have probably been a different game, but those come back to haunt you when you miss that many chances," said Hitchcock.

The Flyers tied it up in the second period, when Branko Radivojevic took a shot from the faceoff circle that handcuffed Morrison and made its way underneath his right arm two and a half minutes in. The goal was Radivojevic's fourth of the season and first since Nov. 18.

Edmonton responded on a power play, when a redirection attempt by Steve Staios on a shot by Ales Hemsky went right to Stoll at the side of the net and the Oilers' center tipped it into an open net at the eight-minute mark.

Philadelphia had a golden opportunity with a full two-minute two-man advantage late in the period after Staios and Marty Reasoner were whistled for penalties at 17:23, but the Flyers failed to produce and quality scoring chances.

"We didn't shoot the puck from the point," said Hitchcock. "We had lanes, we had a free guy standing in front. We should have played the shot off the goaltender. We had new personnel there and not a lot of days to work on it. We'll get better at it. But we didn't shoot the puck."

"That was the turning point in the game," said Mike Richards. "They had a huge energy swing after that. They killed that off and they seemed to build off of that."

Philadelphia ended the night 1-for-8 on the power play while the Oilers were 1-for-5.

"We got outworked [on the power play], and when that happens, the chances of winning the game are pretty slim," said Kapanen.

The Flyers remain home on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. when they host the Minnesota Wild.

Turner Stevenson and Dennis Seidenberg both returned to the Flyers lineup. Stevenson had missed the last four games with a right hip flexor, while Seidenberg sat out the previous seven games with a broken right wrist.  Jamie Storr served as the backup goaltender for the third straight game while Robert Esche remains on the shelf with a slight tear of his abductor tendon.
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