NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Pittsburgh
(Saturday, January 21st)
Final Score: Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 1
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Jeff Carter scored in the third period and Robert Esche made 32 saves in his first action since December 15, as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1, at Mellon Arena.
R.J. Umberger also scored as the Flyers snapped a four-game losing streak.
The game marked a return to the net for Esche, who missed Philadelphia's last 17 games because of a groin injury. Petr Nedved also appeared in his first game with the Flyers and tallied an assist.
"He was really good," said Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock of Esche. "He was outstanding and gave us a chance to win."
Nedved was acquired by Philadelphia Friday from Phoenix in exchange for defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
Philadelphia was without Peter Forsberg for a second straight game, as the star center sat out with a groin strain.
Colby Armstrong scored the lone tally for the Penguins, who have now lost a season-high tying nine games in a row. Pittsburgh also opened up its season of high expectations with nine straight defeats.
Marc-Andre Fleury allowed two goals on 26 shots faced in the tough loss.
Nedved got involved in the action early as he helped setup the Flyers first goal.
With Pittsburgh's Dick Tarnstrom in the penalty box for hooking, Umberger took a feed from Nedved at the right of the goal and the rookie fired the disc into the back of the net 5:51 into the first.
Midway through the third frame, Philadelphia had a 5-on-3 power play for 59 seconds but did not score. However, the Flyers saw a second two-man advantage late in the stanza and capitalized.
Freddy Meyer controlled the puck at the left point before sending a pass into the left circle to Carter. The center then ripped a shot from the circle that beat Fleury stick side with 5:56 left in the frame.
Pittsburgh made it a one-goal game with 3:49 remaining in the third. Sergei Gonchar scooped up the puck in the right corner behind the net and he sent the disc towards the front of the net. The puck, though, tipped off of Armstrong's stick en route to the slot before finding the back of the net.
However, despite turning up the pressure, the Penguins could not net the equalizer as the Flyers held on for the victory.
"For us, we have to continue to concentrate on the things we do best," Pittsburgh head coach Michel Therrien said. "That's the right thing to do and sometimes it's the little things that change the rhythm of the game."
Flyers defenseman Joni Pitkanen also returned to Philadelphia's lineup after missing 21 games because of a sports hernia. Pitkanen had surgery to correct the injury on December 7 and played eight-plus minutes...Simon Gagne tallied his 25th assist of the year for the Flyers...Gonchar picked up his 17th assist of the season...Armstrong's goal was his fourth this season...Philadelphia finished 2-for-6 on the power play while the Penguins failed to convert on six man advantages.
01/21 17:54:12 ET