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Philadelphia 3, Toronto 1
Posted: Wednesday January 22, 2003 12:42 AM
Philadelphia Flyers
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Toronto Maple Leafs
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TORONTO (Ticker) -- Not even the Air Canada Centre could put an end to the Philadelphia Flyers' recent road success.

Jeremy Roenick and Mark Recchi scored 22 seconds apart midway through the third period to lift the Flyers to a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, extending Philadelphia's road winning streak to a league-high six games.

After going 12-0-1 in their last 13 home contests, the Maple Leafs found themselves heading into the third period trailing, 1-0. Alexander Mogilny netted his team-leading 21st goal 54 seconds into the final session to draw Toronto even, but the Flyers would not be denied the league's longest road winning streak this season.

"We knew coming in it was going to be difficult; they haven't lost in 13 games," Roenick said. "It was in the back of our minds. It was a case of two hot teams, so someone had to win."

Grabbing a loose puck in the neutral zone, Roenick skated to the top of the right faceoff circle before unleashing a wrist shot that beat rookie goaltender Mikael Tellqvist low to the stick side at 9:48 to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead.

"It was a turnover at center ice," Roenick said. "I had it coming over the blue line. I thought about taking it to the net, but the defenseman had a good angle on me. I just used his feet as a screen and tried to put it to the far side, and I was fortunate to catch the post."

"I thought it was a great shot off the post," Tellqvist said. "Maybe I could've got it, maybe not. He's a skilled player, he's got a great shot."

Recchi scored his 200th goal as a Flyer just moments later to open a two-goal cushion. He became the 12th player in team history to reach the plateau.

Roman Cechmanek turned aside 22 shots for Philadelphia, which has won 10 of its last 11 games overall and allowed just eight goals in its last six on the road.

"They're not playing the bang-and-crash game they used to play," Toronto captain Mats Sundin said. "They don't take a lot of penalties. They don't give you a chance to get any momentum going. As the game went on, we played better and better. Once they got a two-goal lead, it was tough to catch them."

Michal Handzus also scored for the Flyers to extend his goals streak to four games.

Making the first start of his NHL career because of injuries to Ed Belfour and Trevor Kidd, the 23-year-old Tellqvist stopped 23 shots.

With the game possessing a playoff atmosphere, Handzus put the Flyers ahead with his 15th goal of the season.

Rookie Radovan Somik held the puck in the right corner before dishing to Donald Brashear at the side of the net. Attempting to stuff a shot past Tellqvist, Brashear had the puck slip off his stick and go to Handzus, who fired it past the young goalie from the slot with 3:49 remaining in the first.

After a scoreless second period, the Maple Leafs drew even less than a minute into the third.

From the top of the left circle, defenseman Tomas Kaberle fed Mogilny in the slot. While failing to get good wood on the shot, the former 76-goal scorer caromed the puck off defenseman Eric Desjardins' left skate and between Cechmanek's pads to knot the score at 1-1.

"I thought their first goal woke us up," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We weren't playing very well. We played a great first 30 minutes and then the last 10 minutes of the second period, we were really on our heels. They scored right away and that seemed to wake us up."

"We turned it up a notch after they scored the goal," Roenick said. "They didn't get too many quality chances after that."

Recchi gave Philadelphia some breathing room 22 seconds after Roenick's team-leading 16th tally.

Rookie Pavel Brendl fired a shot from the bottom of the right circle that Tellqvist stopped. But Recchi was on the doorstep to shove in the rebound and put the Flyers ahead, 3-1.

"They scored a big third-period goal to make it 1-1, and you think they're going to build some momentum," Recchi said. "We just stuck with it and jumped right back in their face. That's important when you can respond in a positive way and not let something like that rattle you. Then you're going to be a good team throughout the year."

 


 
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