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Philadelphia Flyers vs. Florida Panthers @NHLdotcom
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GAME: Philadelphia Flyers (25-11-10-5) at Florida Panthers (17-21-10-3).

TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EDT.

Robert Esche has removed any doubt that he is the No. 1 goaltender on the Philadelphia Flyers.

Esche looks to lead the resurgent Flyers to their sixth win in seven games when they face the Florida Panthers for the third time this month.

Esche had been splitting time with Jeff Hackett most of this season despite posting superior numbers in wins, goals-against average and save percentage. Esche, however, is the team's undisputed starter now that Hackett has been sidelined two weeks with vertigo, caused by an inner-ear infection.

It is uncertain when Hackett will return, so Esche is expected to make his seventh consecutive start Wednesday.

Esche has performed very well in Hackett's absence, winning five of six starts while allowing nine goals. He needed to make just 12 saves in a 4-1 victory at Washington on Sunday.

The line of Mark Recchi, John LeClair and Michal Handzus combined for three goals and seven assists, leading Philadelphia to its fifth win in six games following a six-game winless streak.

``I find that you're never as bad as you think you are and you're never as good as you think you are,'' Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. ``And after all the fury is over and you look at the game, you find that there's a very fine line between winning and losing in this business.''

Continuing their strong play will be more difficult for the Flyers because right wing Tony Amonte _ their fourth-leading scorer _ is expected to be sidelined two weeks with a knee injury sustained Sunday.

``I talked to Tony today,'' Flyers center Jeremy Roenick said. ``He's pretty sore, and he doesn't feel good. He hasn't missed too missed many games in his career. He's very frustrated. He's lucky he didn't snap his leg off. He feels fortunate about that.''

Philadelphia, winner of seven straight at the Office Depot Center, is 13-3-2-1 against the Panthers since the start of the 1999-00 season.

Florida failed in a bid to win its season-high third straight game Monday, falling 5-2 to the New York Rangers.

Kristian Huselius and Bryon Ritchie had goals for the Panthers, who dropped into 11th place in the Eastern Conference.

``They played a good game and they played hard. But the fact is we had 40 shots,'' Panthers coach Rick Dudley said. ``We didn't capitalize on enough of them.''

After stopping 71 of 73 shots in back-to-back wins over Washington and Boston, All-Star goalie Roberto Luongo gave up four goals on 37 shots on Monday.

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