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Knuble helps Flyers win fifth straight

by Brian Compton /
Don't look now, but the Philadelphia Flyers are on a roll.
Mike Knuble's second goal of the night broke a 3-3 tie with 5:08 remaining in regulation, as the Flyers extended their winning streak to 5 games with a 4-3 victory against the Dallas Stars as the Wachovia Center.
Knuble's 2 goals give him 10 on the season, as he is flourishing on the same line as Simon Gagne. The latter set up the game-winning goal by stealing the puck at the blue line and feeding Mike Richards, who fed Knuble for a one-timer that beat Marty Turco, who stopped 21 of 25 shots.
''I think he looks reborn,'' Stevens said of Knuble. ''Those two have chemistry together. Mike keeps himself in good shape. He works hard at his game. He is out long after practice.''
Mike Modano scored twice and Landon Wilson had a goal for the Stars, who have lost 3 straight and 6 of 7. Modano pulled within 2 points of 1,300. Now in his 19th season, he would become the 31st NHL player to surpass that plateau.

''A couple of bang-bang plays, a couple of pucks lying around and I took advantage of them,'' Modano said.
What Dallas failed to take advantage of, however, was the power play. The Stars went 0-for-5 with the man advantage on Monday. Three of those power plays came in the last 12 minutes, but Martin Biron stopped all 8 shots he faced in the third period.
''That's two games now that we got a kill in the last minutes of the game,'' Biron explained. ''I don't think they got a shot in the last minute today. A lot of blocked shots, screen plays that we are cutting, or we're keeping the play to one side of the ice. It makes it a lot easier for the guys to make their reads and make it easier for me.''
Philadelphia needed just 3:17 to get on the board, as Scottie Upshall tallied his third goal of the season. The gritty forward took a pass from Joffrey Lupul and shoveled the puck past Turco while sliding on one knee.
Wilson tied it for the Stars at 11:33 of the opening period with his first goal in more than 4 years. With the teams at even strength, Wilson took a pass from new arrival Darryl Sydor and ripped a wrist shot past Biron's glove.
But Knuble put the Flyers back in front less than 5 minutes later, when he muscled between Dallas defenders Mike Ribeiro and Trevor Daley and scored with a forehand shot.
''We didn't start very well at all,'' Stars coach Dave Tippett said. ''We had a lot of deer in headlights. Once we got engaged we were OK.''
Modano tied the game with his first goal of the night at 2:30 of the second period. After Biron made an initial save on a shot from Loui Eriksson, Modano was there to collect the rebound, which he ripped past the Flyers' netminder to make it 2-2.
Jeff Carter put Philadelphia back in front with his team-leading 15th goal of the season at 14:22 of the second, when he one-timed a feed from Scott Hartnell past Turco to make it 3-2. But Modano evened the score again with a one-timer of his own as he converted on a feed from Daley with 2:24 left in the second.
"We gave ourselves a chance after a bad first period," Stars forward Brad Richards said. "We just aren't making the plays we need to make right now. We have to stay with what we are trying to do, and sometimes less is more. We did a lot of good things. We kept battling back and tied the game, but we just are not getting it done right now."
The Flyers, meanwhile, are in the midst of a topsy-turvy campaign. Philadelphia opened the season by dropping its first 6 games. Then, after winning 4 straight, the Flyers lost another 3 in a row. Now, they've won 5 straight.
''We dug ourselves a little bit of a hole so it's nice to climb up in the standings,'' Knuble said.

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.

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