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The Philadelphia Flyers won't have to worry about their dismal home record for a while. They can instead focus on improving one of the league's worst road marks.

Philadelphia hopes to end a franchise-record nine-game overall losing streak when it opens an eight-game road trip Wednesday against the Florida Panthers in a matchup of last-place teams.

The Flyers (8-23-4) held the lead in the second period Saturday but were unable to end their skid, falling 6-3 to visiting Ottawa.

It was a franchise-record sixth straight loss at the Wachovia Center for Philadelphia, which dropped to an NHL-worst 3-11-4 at home. The club record for fewest home wins in a season is 11 in 1969-70. This season's club is on pace to fall well short of that total.

"Our record is not very good home or away," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "Let's not dance around the issue here. We've got to show up and compete, which we did not do the last 40 minutes. It's frustrating."

Poor play at home is just one of many problems for the Flyers, who have one point in their last nine games overall (0-8-1) since a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Nov. 30.

"It's tough, but we got ourselves in this (and) we've got to get ourselves out," defenseman Derian Hatcher said. "That's the bottom line. Obviously, everyone is disappointed and frustrated, and there are probably a thousand words you can use."

The road hasn't been any kinder to the Flyers, who have been outscored 18-7 during a four-game losing streak away from home.

Philadelphia, which will play eight road games in 14 days, doesn't play at the Wachovia Center again until it faces Montreal on Jan. 11.

Saturday's loss dropped the Flyers to 0-9-3 this season without star center Peter Forsberg.

Forsberg has missed three straight games due to post-concussion symptoms and has been limited to 23 games this season due to various injuries.

Florida (13-19-7) allowed three third-period goals Tuesday in a 4-2 loss at Carolina in the back end of a home-and-home series.

"Their counter is so quick - you play solid for the most part and a turnover or a mistake, they end up in your net," Panthers goalie Alex Auld said.

Nathan Horton scored twice for the Panthers, who managed just one point in the two games with the Hurricanes after winning a season-best three straight.

Captain Olli Jokinen assisted on Horton's second goal, giving him two goals and seven assists during a five-game points streak. Horton also has points in five straight, collecting four goals and three assists in that span.

With Auld starting Tuesday, Ed Belfour figures to be back in net Wednesday looking to continue his strong play. The 17-year veteran had won three straight starts before a 3-2 overtime loss Saturday to Carolina.

The Panthers defeated the Flyers 3-2 on Oct. 20, as Jokinen scored late in the second period.

Philadelphia had at least a point in nine straight meetings with Florida before that loss. The Panthers are 1-9-1 at home against the Flyers since Jan. 17, 2000.

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