Series (Game 2 of 5)

Philadelphia leads 4-1

Game 1: Wednesday, November 27th
Game 2: Saturday, March 15th
Game 3: Thursday, March 20th
Game 4: Saturday, March 29th
Game 5: Monday, March 31st

Flyers 4

(37-18-4, 89 pts)

Penguins 1

(25-37-5, 60 pts)

3:00 PM ET, March 15, 2003

Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 T
PHI 0 3 14
PIT 1 0 01

J. Roenick (Flyers - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

T. Amonte (Flyers - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

K. Primeau (Flyers - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Philly two points back of New Jersey for first in Atlantic

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Perhaps the Philadelphia Flyers have a power play after all.

 Jeremy Roenick

Ranked most of the season among the league's worst teams with a manpower advantage, Philadelphia rode power-play goals by center Jeremy Roenick 4:07 apart in the second period to a 4-1 victory Saturday over the hapless Pittsburgh Penguins.

Philadelphia, which clinched a playoff spot later Saturday with Montreal's loss to Tampa Bay, has converted four of its 10 power-play chances in two games since acquiring Tony Amonte from Phoenix and getting John LeClair back in the lineup. He missed 47 games with a shoulder injury.

"We're moving the puck a lot better, and that's the biggest difference," Roenick said after recording his second multiple-goal game in the last seven. "We're going to need our power play for the playoffs.

"You're not going to win in the playoffs without good goaltending and a good power play."

LeClair scored his second goal in two games and Amonte added three assists, giving him five points in two games with Philadelphia.

"I'm just thankful to be here, getting an opportunity with this team," said Amonte, who played on a line with Roenick and Marty Murray, who added a third-period goal. "J.R. is one of the best centers in the league, and these guys are hungry."

Goaltender Roman Cechmanek had to make only 13 saves, including just one in the third period, as Philadelphia remained within two points of first-place New Jersey in the Atlantic Division.

The Penguins are now winless in 11 games (0-10-1), the third-longest winless streak in their history and longest in 18 years. Their home winless streak has reached seven games (0-6-1), matching their second-longest ever.

"We scored the first goal, and we had so much momentum ... if we could have converted another chance it's a different game," said Pittsburgh's Rico Fata, who assisted on former Flyer Guillaume Lefebvre's first-period goal. "We played very well in the first period, but we didn't get many opportunities after that."

Lefebvre, sent to Phoenix in the Amonte trade and then dealt to the Penguins on Tuesday, gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead at 11:05 of the first period. He scored his second goal in as many games with the Penguins by knocking in the rebound of shot by Fata.

But the Flyers took control of the game in the second period, during which they had 19 shots.

LeClair tied it at 1:24 of the second period when he took a pass from Michal Handzus and ripped a wrist shot over Johan Hedberg's glove.

Then Roenick went to work on the power play. He intercepted a clearing attempt by Shawn Heins in the left circle and fired a slap shot over Hedberg's right shoulder at 11:26.

At 15:33, Roenick nudged a loose puck in the goal crease over the line after Hedberg had stopped Keith Primeau.

"I thought that was maybe the difference in the game today, our power play," Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock said.

Murray scored his eighth goal, at 4:11 of the third period, when he pulled the puck around defenseman Richard Lintner and whipped a shot past Hedberg.

Game notes
Mario Lemieux was held off the scoresheet for the 18th time this season, a single-season career high. . . Despite being Atlantic Division rivals, the Penguins and Flyers hadn't played since Nov. 27. This is one of four games between them in 17. . . The Penguins have used 45 players this season, their highest total since 1987-88. . . The Flyers have recorded a point in 12 of their last 14 games. ... Philadelphia has lost only one game this season when scoring three or more goals. ... The Penguins have not scored more than two goals in any of their last nine games. ... The Penguins scratched Mikael Samuelsson (knee) while the Flyers scratched Radovan Somik (back) and Todd Fedoruk. ... Pittsburgh has lost more games (114) to Philadelphia than any other team.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press