Flyers 3, Bruins 2

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Though it’s way too early to care about standings, the Philadelphia Flyers are proving their impressive start is no fluke.

Mark Recchi’s power-play goal broke a tie, helping the Flyers extend their unbeaten streak to nine games with a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.

The Flyers moved one point ahead of Boston following the early season matchup of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.

“You can’t help but feel that we’re learning to win against good hockey teams,” Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said.

Justin Williams and Simon Gagne also scored for the Flyers, 8-0-1 in their last nine games and 9-0-2 at home this season.

Brian Rolston scored both of Boston’s goals in a span of 32 seconds in the second period.

“We missed the net a lot tonight,” Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. “There were a couple of individual breakdowns and the puck ended up in the back of our net.”

Jeff Hackett stopped just 11 shots to beat his former team. Hackett played 18 games with the Bruins last season after he was acquired from Montreal. He signed a two-year contract with the Flyers on July 1.

Recchi scored his ninth goal with 2:15 left in the second period after the Flyers had blown a 2-0 lead. Jeremy Roenick and Tony Amonte set up Recchi’s goal with crisp passes. Amonte took a cross-ice pass from Roenick, waited to draw a defenseman toward him, then passed to Recchi, who tipped the puck into an open net.

“I wanted to shoot it. I want to shoot that puck every time,” Amonte said. “It was just bouncing too much. I wanted to settle it down and I took my time. Rex is always around the net and said he needed a couple more.”

The line of Recchi, Roenick and Amonte has 55 points in 16 games since they were united early in the season.

Recchi was more impressed with his team’s defensive effort.

“That’s a pretty good offense over there, a pretty deep team,” Recchi said. “For us to play as good as we did defensively, it’s a good sign.”

Hitchcock warned that he’s still wary of the Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils, who trail the Flyers by three points.

“There’s always one eye on those guys in the swamp,” Hitchcock said. “They have one eye on us and we have one eye on them.”

Rookie Andrew Raycroft made 23 saves for the Bruins and had his four-game winning streak stopped.

Rolston cut Philadelphia’s lead to 2-1 when he one-timed a shot past Hackett for a power-play goal just 65 seconds into the second period.

After Hackett failed to control a rebound off a shot by Jeff Jillson, Rolston then took a pass from Rob Zamuner and backhanded it into an open net to tie it at 2.

Williams gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead on his fifth goal 6:24 into the game. Joni Pitkanen set it up by clearing the puck from Philadelphia’s zone. John LeClair beat Bruins defenseman Hal Gill to the puck and dropped a pass to the trailing Williams, who slapped a shot past Raycroft.

“He said if that puck slowed up a bit I wasn’t going to get a pass,” Williams said of LeClair. “It was a great look by him, seeing me coming down the slot.”

Gagne made it 2-0 midway through the first with his sixth goal. He took a pass from Sami Kapanen at center ice, skated down the right side, went aroundGill and flipped a shot past Raycroft.


The Flyers’ 11-game unbeaten streak at home is the second-longest to start the season in franchise history. They opened the 1979-80 season by going 19-0-7 at the Spectrum. … Boston has the best road record in the NHL (7-2-1-2). … Rolston recorded his 400th NHL point on his first goal. … The Bruins hadn’t lost in Philadelphia since March 5, 2001, going 2-0-2 in that span. … Flyers D Marcus Ragnarsson returned after missing two games with theflu. … Boston’s 13 shots were the lowest allowed by the Flyers this season.

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Three Stars

  Game Winning Goal
M. Recchi M. Recchi
Philadelphia Flyers
Scored at 17:45 of 2nd


Goalie Team Shot Save
Jeff Hackett Phi 13 11