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Flyers' Niittymaki still solid in net

Rookie wins third straight start, team acquires veteran Burke from Phoenix

Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2004

PHILADELPHIA Rookie Antero Niittymaki stopped 35 shots for his third win in as many starts, leading the Philadelphia Flyers over the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on Tuesday night.

Simon Gagne and Danny Markov scored power-play goals, and Michal Handzus and Mark Recchi also scored for Philadelphia, which extended its lead to seven points over New Jersey in the Atlantic Division. The Stanley Cup champion Devils, though, have played three fewer games than the Flyers, who also lead the Eastern Conference.

The Flyers have won three in a row and seven of nine.

Niittymaki, 23, has allowed just three goals since taking over as the starter after Robert Esche went down with a knee injury last week. The Flyers already were without Jeff Hackett (vertigo) when Esche went down.

Sabres 2, Sharks 1

BUFFALO, N.Y. Daniel Briere scored twice and Martin Biron made 27 saves. Briere's second two-goal game of the season helped Buffalo win for the sixth time in the last eight games (6-2-0).

Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 4, OT

TAMPA, Fla. Gary Roberts scored with 44.4 seconds left in the third period. Roberts connected from the low slot, completing a two-goal third-period comeback.

Senators 3, Blues 1

OTTAWA Marian Hossa scored two of Ottawa's three first-period goals.

Panthers 2, Canadiens 1

SUNRISE, Fla. Viktor Kozlov set a Florida record with two goals in seven seconds in the second period in interim coach John Torchetti's debut.

Bruins 6, Penguins 3

PITTSBURGH The Pittsburgh Penguins lost a club-record 12th in a row and tied an NHL record with their 11th straight home loss.

Kings 3, Wild 1

ST. PAUL, Minn. Trent Klatt scored midway though the third period to break a tie.

Eric Belanger scored his 11th goal for the Kings and Ian Laperriere added an empty-netter with less than 26 seconds left in the third period, but Los Angeles' defense was even more impressive.

Flames 5, Thrashers 2

CALGARY, Alberta Dean McAmmond and Jarome Iginla each scored twice as the Thrashers' winless streak reached nine games.

Islanders 1, Avalanche 1

DENVER Philippe Sauve had two acrobatic saves in overtime, and Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro was equally effective, making a sprawling save off Steve Konowalchuk in the extra period.

DiPietro finished with 36 saves and Sauve 35.

Colorado's Paul Kariya and New York's Mariusz Czerkawski had the lone goals, both in the second period.



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