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Philadelphia Flyers 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 3 FINAL @NHLdotcom

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ The Philadelphia Flyers must work a lot harder than might be expected to beat a slump-ridden Pittsburgh Penguins team most of the NHL has no trouble handling.

Patrick Sharp and John LeClair scored slightly more than a minute apart in the second period, and the Flyers won 5-3 Saturday to extend a pair of lengthy Penguins losing streaks.

The Penguins have lost nine straight since beating the Flyers 2-1 in Philadelphia on Jan. 12 and have been outscored 45-11 while dropping a franchise-record nine in a row at home _ two short of the NHL record shared by four teams.

``You try not to think about it too much because it's mentally tough and can wear on you,'' Eric Meloche said. ``You want to get out of it, so you work as hard as you can ... hopefully, when we get out of this, we'll get a winning streak going.''

Pittsburgh's club record for consecutive losses home and away in a season is 11, set during the 16-win season in 1983-84 that allowed them to draft Mario Lemieux No. 1 that year.

Despite their league-worst 11-33-5-3 record, the Penguins have given the Flyers fits, beating them once and tying them twice in five games. They also rallied twice from two-goal deficits in the third period Saturday.

Pittsburgh hurt its chances for pulling off the upset by going 0-for-6 on the power play, getting only two shots during a 5-on-3 advantage that lasted 80 seconds in the third period.

``They're young and enthusiastic and really don't play with a lot of fear, and you look at the teams they beat _ Detroit, New Jersey _ and they've beaten some good teams,'' Mark Recchi said. ``For whatever reason, when you sometimes play scared of getting blown out, you really put forth a good effort.''

Michael Handzus got a power-play goal in the third period to make it 4-2 and Sami Kapanen returned from a two-game injury layoff to also score for the Flyers. Philadelphia is 4-0-1 in its last five and 6-1-1 in its last eight.

Not only did the Flyers get two goals and four assists from the LeClair-Handzus-Recchi line, their fourth line got a key goal when Sharp beat goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin at 13:33 of the second _ a goal created when Todd Fedoruk kept the puck in the Pittsburgh end.

LeClair scored his 14th goal 1:09 later on a power play to put the Flyers up 3-1. The Penguins are the NHL's worst penalty-killing team at home, allowing 11 power-play goals in 33 chances during their home losing streak.

``You talk about chemistry, and we've got a little bit of that going right now,'' LeClair said. ``The last couple of games have been a little bit open, we've been able to play a little bit of offensive hockey ... it's always fun to play like that instead of back and forth in the neutral zone.''

Pittsburgh's Matt Bradley kept the game from getting out of hand by scoring his third of the season early in the third, putting in a rebound of Martin Strbak's shot from the left point that lay in front of goalie Robert Esche. But the Penguins couldn't tie it despite going on the power play two minutes later when Sharp went off for high-sticking.

That allowed Handzus to restore the Flyers' two-goal lead by punching in a rebound of Kim Johnsson's shot from the point with 7{ minutes remaining, a power-play goal resulting from Pittsburgh having an extra player on the ice.

Penguins rookie Ryan Malone got his team-high 13th of the season less than a minute later, carrying the puck to the net one-handed and steering it by Esche with Joni Pitkanen draped on him.

``When the momentum swings your way, you can almost feel it, and we were hoping to get that next bounce,'' Malone said.

Donald Brashear prevented that by scoring into an empty net with 16 seconds left.

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