"I've said a number of times that he's a world-class goalie," said Mark Recchi after Cechmanek recorded his eighth shutout, tying Buffalo's Dominik Hasek for the NHL lead, as the Flyers beat the Sabres and Hasek 2-0 Thursday night.
"He's been our wall, and it's huge for us," Recchi said. "Right from Day 1 of training camp he's looked that good and he's proving to everybody what type of goalie he is."
Philadelphia increased its Atlantic Division lead to three points over New Jersey.
Keith Primeau and Eric Desjardins scored second-period goals, and Recchi and Daymond Langkow added two assists each for the Flyers.
Cechmanek, who entered with a league-leading 2.02 goals- against-average, stopped 26 shots as the Flyers cooled off the Sabres. Buffalo had won two straight and six of seven.
"That is one guy who seems to have our number," he said. "After they scored their first goal, we had some great opportunities but he made a couple of big saves which allowed them to win the hockey game."
It was the third time this season that Cechmanek got the best of Hasek - whom he backed up on the gold medal-winning Czech National team in the 1998 Olympics. Cechmanek shut out the Sabres for his first NHL victory on Nov.4, and won again at Buffalo on Nov. 22.
Desjardins said. "Back in the Czech Republic he is going to be the man this summer."
Cechmanek, who already has recorded more shutouts than any "first year" Philadelphia goaltender, is within four of the team season record of 12 accomplished twice by Bernie Parent during the Flyers' Stanley Cup championship seasons of 1974 and 1975.
Hasek played brilliantly in a losing cause, making a number of acrobatic stops among his 29 saves. He had won his last four road starts and had allowed only five goals in that span.
Buffalo's best scoring opportunities came late in the first period when Flyers defenseman Chris Therien slapped away a breakaway attempt by Vladimir Tsyplakov, and midway through the second when Erik Rasmussen hit the crossbar. Cechmanek also denied Curtis Brown from in close with 2:47 left.
Primeau scored his team-leading 28th goal after taking a pass from behind the net from Daymond Langkow at 3:58 of the second period.
Desjardins made it 2-0 about 10 minutes later when his shot hit the skate of Buffalo defenseman Alexei Zhitnik and dribbled between Hasek's pads.
"I don't think we played our best in the first two periods tonight," Buffalo defenseman Brian Campbell said. "We can't expect to come out and play one good period and expect to win too many hockey games."
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