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Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

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GAME: Philadelphia Flyers (37-17-13-6) at Pittsburgh Penguins (17-44-6-4).

TIME: Sunday, 3 p.m. EST.

The Philadelphia Flyers continue their pursuit of the top spot in the Eastern Conference as they visit the suddenly streaking Pittsburgh Penguins.

Philadelphia pulled within one point of Tampa Bay for the lead in the East with a 2-1 win over New Jersey on Saturday. It was the Flyers' second win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Devils this week, helping Philadelphia open a healthy eight-point lead in the Atlantic Division.

"What I'm looking at is the highest possible seed in the conference," Hitchcock said. "That's vital."

The Flyers, 4-1-1 in their last six games, are hoping to avoid being the next victim of the suddenly streaking Penguins.

Pittsburgh owns the NHL's worst record, but has won four straight games, including a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

It's the team's longest winning streak in more than two years, dating to a six-game run from Jan. 17-26, 2002. The Penguins are 6-2-1 following an 18-game winless streak (0-17-0-1).

"When you hear a lot of the same things, whether its pregame shows or in the media about what you have to do to beat the Penguins, to just show up, believe me we're all professionals," Olczyk said.

"We deserve a little bit more. Forget me, my players deserve a lot more respect than that."

STANDINGS: Flyers - 93 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division. Penguins - 44 points, 5th place, 49 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Flyers - Mark Recchi, 26 goals, 41 assists and 67 points; Donald Brashear, 191 PIM. Penguins - Ryan Malone, 21 goals; Dick Tarnstrom, 31 assists and 44 points; Brooks Orpik, 115 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 11): Flyers - Power play: 23.5 percent (61 for 260), 1st. Penalty killing: 83.4 percent (252 for 302), 20th. Penguins - Power play: 15.8 percent (49 for 311), 17th in NHL. Penalty killing: 75.6 percent (239 for 316), 30th.

GOALTENDERS: Flyers - Robert Esche (19-7-6, 2 SO, 1.92 GAA); Sean Burke (14-20-6, 1, 2.85). Penguins - Sebastien Caron (6-22-3, 1, 3.87); Jean-Sebastien Aubin (4-8-0, 1, 3.06).

SEASON SERIES: Flyers, 2-1-2.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 31; Flyers, 5-3. At Pittsburgh, Patrick Sharp and John LeClair scored just over a minute apart in the second period as the Flyers took the lead in the season series.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flyers - 14-10-10-3 on the road; Penguins - 9-22-4-0 at home.


Associated Press
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