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GAME: Chicago Blackhawks (17-31-7-5) at Philadelphia Flyers (32-15-11-5).

TIME: Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST.

The last time Chicago won in Philadelphia, Alex Zhamnov was in his first season with the team. The Blackhawks won't have him around this time.

Zhamnov will make his first appearance against his former club since being traded last week as the Flyers try to keep the Blackhawks winless in Philadelphia since the 1996-97 season.

"They (the Blackhawks) are like family to me," Zhamnov said. "But I understand it's a business. I play for Philly and I'm going to try to win. I don't know what to expect. Right now I'm on the other side. I know I have to play hard and help this team win."

The Flyers acquired Zhamnov on Thursday in a deal that sent center Colin Fraser and defenseman Jim Vandermeer to the Blackhawks. Philadelphia also received a fourth-round pick in the June draft, and Chicago got a second-round pick.

The trade fills a big need for the Flyers, with centers Jeremy Roenick (concussion, broken jaw) and Keith Primeau (concussion) sidelined.

Zhamnov played in his first game for Philadelphia on Saturday, going scoreless in a little less than 17 minutes as the Flyers ended a a three-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over Atlanta on a successful penalty shot by Simon Gagne with 1:01 left in regulation.

Zhamnov, who had six goals and 12 assists in 23 games with lowly Chicago prior to the trade, said it felt good to finally play in a meaningful game.

In his 11 seasons, Zhamnov has been to the playoffs only three times, including just once (2001-02) in seven full years with the Blackhawks.

"I'm excited to be on a team contending for the Stanley Cup," Zhamnov said. "The last couple of months were tough. I knew I'd be traded. I just didn't know where. I'm happy to be here."

Zhamnov was a member of the last Chicago team to win in Philadelphia, 4-1 on Nov. 9, 1996. The Blackhawks have since lost five straight road games to the Flyers.

Chicago, however, has played well of late. The Blackhawks beat St. Louis 3-2 in overtime at home on Sunday for their fourth win in six games.

Kyle Calder tied it at 2-2 with 1:28 left in regulation, and Stephane Robidas gave Chicago the win with 19.5 seconds left in overtime.

Robidas, a low-scoring defenseman, has scored only one other goal this season. In 253 NHL games, he has 12 goals and 30 assists.

"I don't get a lot of chances to play on the power play," Robidas said. "When you get a chance in a four-on-three late in the game, you want to go out there and prove to yourself and everyone you can do a job."

Chicago is just 5-22-3-1 on the road this season, but has won two of its last three away from home.

STANDINGS (through Feb. 22): Blackhawks - 46 points, 4th place (tied), 34 PB, Central Division. Flyers - 80 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blackhawks - Mark Bell, 18 goals, 22 assists and 40 points; Scott Nichol, 106 PIM. Flyers - Mark Recchi, 22 goals, 38 assists and 60 points; Donald Brashear, 131 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 22): Blackhawks - Power play: 12.6 percent (34 for 270), 28th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.5 percent (242 for 283), 4th. Flyers - Power play: 23.6 percent (57 for 242), 1st. Penalty killing: 84.2 percent (230 for 273), 17th.

GOALTENDERS: Blackhawks - Craig Anderson (5-14-0, 1 SO, 2.83 GAA); Michael Leighton (5-13-5, 2, 2.97). Flyers - Sean Burke (13-18-5, 1, 2.92); Antero Niittymaki (3-0-0, 1.00).

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Flyers, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 27; Flyers, 5-2. At Philadelphia, ex-Flyer Todd Warriner had two goals and an assist, and Michal Handzus added a goal and three assists.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blackhawks - 5-22-3-1 on the road; Flyers - 19-7-2-3 at home.

Associated Press
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