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NHL Game Summary - Chicago at Philadelphia

(Tuesday, February 24th)

Final Score: Philadelphia 3, Chicago 1

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Alexei Zhamnov scored against his old team and Sean Burke made 27 saves, as the Philadelphia Flyers downed the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-1, at the Wachovia Center.

Tony Amonte tallied his 17th goal for the Flyers, who won their second straight after a three-game skid. Claude Lapointe added an empty-net goal in the victory.

Coupled with Ottawa's loss to Montreal, Philadelphia now sits atop the Eastern Conference with 82 points.

"We are just trying to collect points," said Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock. "We know how important it is to stay afloat."

Scott Nichol posted the lone goal for Chicago, which has lost three of its last four overall. Michael Leighton started between the pipes and allowed two goals on 25 shots in the losing cause.

Zhamnov, acquired last week from the Blackhawks, opened the scoring at the 3:46 mark of the second period. An errant clearing attempt by Chicago defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev from the back boards ended up on the stick of Kirby Law, who fired a shot toward the net. Leighton made the save, but the rebound came directly to Zhamnov and he rifled the puck into the cage from in close for his seventh goal and a 1-0 Flyers lead.

"It was a strange feeling," said Zhamnov about scoring against his old team. "It was most important to win."

In the latter stages of the middle session, Philadelphia took a two-goal lead. As Blackhawks' center Tuomo Ruutu was about to skate up ice from his own zone, Amonte stole the puck, skated toward the high left slot and fired home a wrister with 3:40 to play.

Chicago displayed decent offensive pressure in the third period. Then, shortly after Zhamnov missed a chance to put the Flyers ahead by three on a penalty shot, Chicago cut its deficit in half at 7:58 of the final frame.

Nichol came charging at the goal from the right wing and, along with two Philadelphia defensemen, crashed into Burke, who lost sight of the puck. The whistle blew, and a minute of uncertainly ensued before video replays revealed that the puck crossed the line just before the net came off its moorings.

Chicago had a chance to knot the contest up when Amonte went off for slashing with over five minutes to play in regulation, but the Flyers killed the penalty. Former Flyer Jim Vandermeer, sent to Chicago as part of the Zhamnov deal, had a good look with a wrister from the left point, but Burke's glove was quicker.

Leighton was pulled in the final minute, but Philadelphia eventually gained control before Lapointe's third goal into the empty net capped the scoring.

Game Notes

This was the second straight game in which Philly took a penalty shot. On Saturday, Simon Gagne scored the game-winner versus Atlanta with a penalty shot...Philadelphia improved to 11-4-1 in its last 16 games overall...With an assist, Flyer Mark Recchi extended his point-scoring streak to six games...Earlier Tuesday, Chicago dealt forward Ville Nieminen to the Calgary Flames in exchange for forward Jason Morgan and a conditional draft choice...The Flyers have won four straight meetings with Chicago and have also captured six consecutive contests in South Philly...The Blackhawks were 0-for-3 on the power play, while the Flyers did not cash in on their only chance with the extra skater...Burke posted his 302nd career victory, surpassing Mike Richter and Turk Broda for 18th place on the all-time win list for goaltenders...Chicago is now 4-9-2-2 after a win this season.

02/24 22:42:53 ET

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