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Philadelphia 4, Carolina 2

3/23/2004

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Philadelphia goaltender Sean Burke needed
this one badly.

Burke made 26 saves and Branko Radivojevic had a goal and an
assist to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-2 victory Tuesday
night that ended the Carolina Hurricanes' NHL playoff hopes.

Carolina was eliminated when the New York Islanders beat the
Washington Capitals 3-0.

Burke picked up his first win since Feb. 24 and his 303rd
victory, moving him past Turk Broda and into 18th place on the
NHL's career list.

"I wasn't really worried about who I was passing or where I was
in the overall standings of that, I just needed a win," Burke
said. "I haven't had one for a while and our team has played
fairly well.

"I didn't want to come in here today and come out of here with
anything less than two points."

Patrick Sharp, Simon Gagne and Marcus Ragnarsson had the other
goals for Philadelphia.

Bret Hedican and Craig Adams scored for the Hurricanes, who have
won just one of their last seven home games. Kevin Weekes made 21
saves for Carolina.

"We have games left to play, and we can't make the playoffs
this year," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. "So now
everything that we do from this day forward is to make the playoffs
next year and compete for a Stanley Cup. We'll be back to work
tomorrow."

Philadelphia went ahead for good with 1:11 left in the second
period when Donald Brashear found Gagne all alone on the left side
of the goal, and the left wing beat Weekes into the upper right
corner for a 3-2 Philadelphia lead.

"Even if it wasn't a direct pass, I was trying to shoot it on
net, he was there to get it," Brashear said. "If it would have
hit the goalie, he would have been there for the rebound."

The Flyers made it 4-2 early in the third when Weekes lost track
of the puck near the goal and Radivojevic swept in and backhanded
it into the upper right corner.

"We talked about coming out a certain way and making sure we
played our best in the last, and we didn't come out and do that,"
Laviolette said.

The two-goal cushion was enough for Burke, who stopped 13 shots
in the final period. Eric Staal had two great opportunities during
one sequence in the third, but Burke was there each time.

"I didn't feel overly sharp but I felt as the game went on I
got a little stronger," Burke said.

The Flyers struck first. Sharp got free in front, took a pass
from Radivojevic and beat Weekes on the right side for a 1-0 lead
in the first period.

The Hurricanes took less than a minute to respond. Hedican
blasted a slap shot by Burke from just inside the blue line on the
left side of the goal, making it 1-1 with 6:24 left in the first
period.

Justin Williams assisted on Hedican's goal in his first game
against his old team. Philadelphia traded Williams to Carolina for
defenseman Danny Markov on Jan. 20.

Williams has four assists and Hedican has three goals in the
last three games for Carolina.

Ragnarsson made it 2-1 for the Flyers at 7:02 of the second
period, but Adams tied the game again at 8:36.

Game notes
Hurricanes LW Erik Cole sat out of the game with a pulled
right hamstring after cramping up Saturday night against Ottawa.
... Weekes has played in a career-high 62 games this season for
Carolina. ... Philadelphia has an eight-game undefeated streak
against the Hurricanes. The Flyers' last loss against Carolina was
a 4-1 setback on March 28, 2002.