Bruins cough up 3-1 lead late in third, lose in OT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Joni Pitkanen made up for a costly defensive

The 22-year-old Finnish defenseman scored the tying goal with
23.4 seconds left and added the winner 1:55 into overtime to give
the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on
Tuesday night.

The Flyers won their fourth straight and seventh in a row at
home, overcoming a two-goal deficit in the final 3:35 of regulation
on goals by Pitkanen and Simon Gagne.

"I lost the puck to make it 3-1. After that, I felt real bad,"
said Pitkanen, whose turnover in the neutral zone led to an
unassisted goal by Joe Thornton in the third period. "I had good

Sergei Samsonov and Shawn McEachern also scored for the Bruins,
who haven't lost in regulation in nine games since Oct. 20.

With goalie Robert Esche on the bench and an extra skater on the
ice, Pitkanen took a long pass from Peter Forsberg, streaked down
the left side and wristed a shot into the far corner under the
crossbar to tie it at 3.

"I didn't know if it was going to be offsides, but I just had
to make the pass," Forsberg said. "I was just kind of standing
still and Joni was flying, so it worked out pretty good. Joni's an
overtime player. He scores big goals."

In overtime, Pitkanen took a pass from behind the net and his
shot went up goalie Hannu Toivonen's shoulder and trickled in to
win it.

"He had almost a wide-open net," Toivonen said.

Mike Knuble also scored for Philadelphia, which played without
captain Keith Primeau and top defenseman Eric Desjardins. Both have

Samsonov scored during a two-man advantage 56 seconds into the
third to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead. Thornton set it up with a
nifty pass in front.

Soon after, Esche made a sliding save with his left pad on a
shot by Thornton to keep the deficit at one.

But Thornton scored after Pitkanen's miscue to make it 3-1 with
4:48 left. Gagne cut it to 3-2 a minute later with his NHL-leading
16th goal.

"Our team is at our best when we control territory and that's
what we didn't do in the last few minutes when we could have done a
better job," Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said.

Boston tied it at 1 on McEachern's power-play goal late in the
second. McEachern's slap shot sailed past Esche's glove.

Knuble deflected a slap shot by Kim Johnsson past Toivonen for a
power-play goal that gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the final minute
of the first.

Knuble played his first game against his former teammates. He
spent 4 years with the Bruins and was a member of Boston's top
line with Thornton and Glen Murray.

"Our problem was we stopped playing when we got the lead and
let them come at us," Toivonen said.

Game notes
Murray sat out with the flu. ... Primeau has missed the
last four games, while Desjardins has missed two straight. ... The
Bruins are 4-5 in the last nine games, with three losses coming in
overtime and two in shootouts. ... Forsberg recorded his
league-leading 22nd, 23rd and 24th assists. ... The Flyers have
scored power-play goals in 10 straight games.