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Panthers Pick Up 3-1 Win vs. Flyers in Front of 17,771 Fans at the BankAtlantic Center

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Cats are 4-1-1 in their last six and will next take on Montreal Friday in front of near sellout crowd

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -Rostislav Olesz had a goal and an assist as the Florida Panthers extended Philadelphia's franchise-record losing streak to 10 games with a 3-1 victory Wednesday night.

Jozef Stumpel and Mike Van Ryn also scored for Florida, which has won four of its last six. Martin Gelinas had two assists.

Kyle Calder scored for the Flyers, who haven t won since beating the New York Islanders, 3-2, on Nov. 30.

Ed Belfour made 23 saves for Florida.

Antero Niittymaki, making his 16th consecutive start for Philadelphia, stopped 22 shots before being replaced by Robert Esche after two periods. Esche, returning to action after missing 11 games following groin surgery, stopped eight of nine shots in the third.

Captain Peter Forsberg also was back in the lineup for the Flyers after missing the last three games because of a concussion. He had a couple of good scoring chances but no points.

Olesz scored 30 seconds into the game after poking the puck away from defenseman Alexei Zhitnik from behind. The puck bounced off Gelinas' skate and back to Olesz, who was alone in front of the net and beat Niittymaki with a quick deke to his forehand.

Stumpel made it 2-0 at 3:40 of the second when he tipped in Gelinas' slap shot from the point.

Calder got Philadelphia's goal on the power play at 18:16 of the second. His pass across the crease went in off the left skate of Belfour.

Van Ryn gave Florida a two-goal lead again when he beat Esche with a slap shot of a faceoff at 8:59 of the third.

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