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Esche, in return, helps Flyers edge Penguins

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Robert Esche put a groin strain behind him in
a hurry Saturday.

Playing his first game in more than a month, the U.S. Olympic
goalie made 32 saves to help the Philadelphia Flyers snap a
four-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh
Penguins.

"My style is I'm not a guy who needs a whole lot of games,"
Esche said. "When I was a backup, I played one game a month or two
games a month. You have to be ready. That's kind of how I always
approached it. I learned to adjust to that."

Esche (12-4-2) made several challenging saves, stopping Sidney
Crosby in the slot with the man-advantage toward the end of the
first period and Sergei Gonchar on a wrist shot from his left with
4 minutes to play in the second.

"He was outstanding," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He
gave us a chance to win and it was good stuff."

Rookies R.J. Umberger and Jeff Carter scored power-play goals
for Philadelphia.

"We were a good team tonight (5-on-5)," Pittsburgh coach
Michel Therrien said.

Pittsburgh has lost nine straight and 10 of its last 11.

"We played a strong game," Crosby said. "We're all competing
and battling for each other. We're just not getting too many
breaks, but for us, we just have to continue to do this. We have to
stay with it. Every guy is battling in here and that's huge.
Everyone is going the same way and eventually it's going to turn
around."

Umberger, a Pittsburgh-area native, gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead
when he scored his eighth of the season on a shot from close range
on goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Petr Nedved -- playing his first game
since being acquired from Phoenix on Friday -- and Sami Kapanen
assisted on the goal at 5:51 of the first period.

"It was a great feeling just to do that, to get my team out in
front and hear people cheer for me in my hometown," Umberger said.
"It was a feeling I can't explain."

Carter made it 2-0 with 5:56 left in the third, beating Fleury
on a 5-on-3 power play for his 12th goal of the season. The
Penguins have allowed multiple power-play goals in six of their
last nine games.

Colby Armstrong scored for Pittsburgh with 3:49 to play. It was
the fourth goal for the rookie, who redirected Gonchar's pass from
the left corner behind Esche.

The Penguins outshot an opponent for only the 15th time this
season and fell to 5-8-2 in such circumstances. Pittsburgh had 33
shots to the Flyers' 26.

Flyers had lost five of their last six coming into the game.
Pittsburgh hasn't earned a point in a game since a 6-4 win at
Montreal Jan. 3.

Game notes
Fleury's mask was fitted with a small camera for the NBC
regional telecast. ... Philadelphia center Peter Forsberg, tied for
eighth in the NHL with 60 points, missed his second consecutive
game with an abdominal muscle injury. ... Flyers defenseman Kim
Johnson was scratched because of concussion-like symptoms.