Final

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Philadelphia leads 1-0

Game 1: Tuesday, February 24th
Blackhawks1Final
Flyers3

Blackhawks 1

(17-32-5, 46 pts)

Flyers 3

(33-15-5, 82 pts)

7:00 PM ET, February 24, 2004

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 T
CHI 0 0 11
PHI 0 2 13

T. Amonte (Flyers - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

A. Zhamnov (Flyers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

K. Law (Flyers - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Former Chicago captains lead Philly

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Chicago Blackhawks were done in by their former captains.

Alexei Zhamnov scored his first goal with the Flyers and Tony Amonte added another, leading Philadelphia to a 3-1 victory Tuesday night over Chicago.

Sean Burke made 27 saves for the Flyers, who won their second straight game after dropping three in a row and moved into first place in the Eastern Conference -- and the league.

"It was a strange feeling before the game, and especially during the game," Zhamnov said of facing the Blackhawks, for whom he was playing this time last week. "I'm glad it's over now. It was important to win this game. I wanted to score tonight for sure, especially against Chicago."

Scott Nichol had the lone goal for Chicago, which has lost three of four.

Zhamnov broke a scoreless tie 3:46 into the second period when Kirby Law sent a blind pass from the sideboards toward the front of the net that was deflected by Blackhawks goalie Michael Leighton. The puck slid right to a streaking Zhamnov, who tapped it in for his first goal since being traded from Chicago on Thursday. Law recorded his first NHL point on the play.

"I thought I was going to poke it over [Zhamnov's] stick, and I poked it right onto it," said Leighton, who made his first start since Jan. 12 and stopped 23 shots. "It was a bad play on my part."

Amonte made it 2-0 by stripping the puck from Tuomo Ruutu and wristing a shot over Leighton's glove. Amonte had some help on the goal, with Zhamnov advising him on the best way to beat his former teammate.

"He was covering the bottom of the net pretty good," said Amonte. "It was the first shot I was able to get up high, and I was able to get it by him. Alex was there telling me on the bench, 'He likes to cover the bottom of the net. You have to get the puck up.' "

Zhamnov was denied a chance for his second goal when Leighton stopped a penalty shot in the third period. One minute later, the Blackhawks pulled within a goal when Nichol was knocked into Burke and the puck slipped past his left pad.

Burke, booed in his last several home games, received mock cheers from the crowd after stopping four long shots in the first period. He made two glove saves before Claude Lapointe added an empty-netter -- his first goal since Nov. 28 -- to close the scoring.

The win was the 302nd of Burke's career, moving him past Mike Richter and tying him with Turk Broda for 18th on the NHL's career list.

"I'm not really thinking about [the booing], to be honest," Burke said. "Whether it goes away or not doesn't change what I have to do out there: stop the puck. What happens after that is beyond my control."

Game notes


The Blackhawks made two transactions early Tuesday, trading LW Ville Nieminen to the Calgary Flames for F Jason Morgan and claiming RW Eric Nickulas off waivers from the St. Louis Blues. ... Flyers are 10-1 against Chicago in the last 11 meetings. The Blackhawks have also lost six straight in Philadelphia. ... Nichol left the game with 5:25 remaining after being slashed in the left arm by Amonte. ... Flyers D Joni Pitkanen played despite being a gametime decision with the flu. ... Philadelphia G Robert Esche, out since spraining an MCL Feb. 2, underwent tests on his injured knee and was cleared to rejoin the team. Coach Ken Hitchcock said that Esche might not play Thursday at Ottawa but that his starting Saturday in Boston was a "distinct possibility."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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