Flyers Bite Sharks


Mikael Renberg is worrying less and the Philadelphia Flyers are enjoying it more.

"I just said to myself to relax a little bit more and go out and work as hard as I can," said Renberg after his power-play goal at 15:37 of the second period lifted the Philadelphia over San Jose 3-2 Saturday in a game between the Atlantic and Pacific Division leaders.

Before he was traded to Tampa Bay, Renberg was part of Philadelphia's "Legion of Doom Line" along with Eric Lindros and John LeClair that terrorized NHL opponents from 1995-97.

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  • He was reacquired by the Flyers last season but has had trouble regaining his scoring touch and had only two goals before Saturday's winner.

    "I've been feeling pretty good the last three or four games," said Renberg, who fears another trade. "You always worry about that but I love it here. I love to play for the Flyers. But when you don't play good, you never know what's going to happen."

    Renberg, who also had an assist, scored with one second left on a power play to break a 2-2 tie. His wrist shot from the slot trickled off the pads of Steve Shields (9-5-2), who went into the game as the NHL's winningest goaltender this season.

    "That goal felt good," Renberg said. "I've always felt a part of this team but I knew that I had to contribute a little more and start to score goals. That was frustrating but I eventually got my confidence back. I feel a lot better now."

    "We're quite happy with Rennie," Flyers coach Roger Neilson said. "He's been really skating well and he's bound to start scoring pretty soon. We've played him on different lines and he's made a good contribution. He omes back fast and his back-checking has been great."

    Daymond Langkow and LeClair also scored for the Flyers, who won their fourth straight home game. Philadelphia is 10-2-1 since opening the season 0-5-1.

    Mike Ricci and Jeff Friesen scored for the Sharks who have lost two straight and are winless in their last three.

    John Vanbiesbrouck, who has lost only one game in his career against San Jose (7-1-4), made 18 saves against the NHL's highest scoring team, which is in the midst of a seven game road trip.

    San Jose coach Darryl Sutter called the game "a tough loss" and said that the Flyers' strong physical play especially that of Lindros was the difference.

    "There's no question that their size dominated ours," Sutter said. "I thought our top line battled and competed but there's no question that Lindros was too much for us to handle. It was fairly evident that on their two goals we were out-muscled."

    Langkow put the Flyers ahead 1-0 at 1:31 of the first, beating Shields to the stick side from left of the crease. LeClair made it 2-0 at 10:42 when he tucked a backhander behind Shields after taking a pass from Ersburg, who dug the puck out behind the net.

    Ricci pulled the Sharks to 2-1 at 17:25 of the period when he beat Vanbiesbrouck to the glove side with a short wrist shot. Friesen tied the score at 4:35 of the second period on a shorthanded breakaway.

    "Falling behind early really hurt us," said Owen Nolan, who had two assists for San Jose. "We figured it would be a tough game and they grinded it out against us. But we have to put this game behind us because it's still a long trip ahead."

    LeClair, who has scored at least a point in seven straight games, moved into eighth place on the Flyers' career list with his 231st goal. Philadelphia's Mark Recchi appeared in his 800th NHL game.

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