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Flyers Shut Down Panthers


John Vanbiesbrouck is making it look easy again.

The Philadelphia goaltender tied his own club record with his third straight shutout as the Flyers defeated the Florida Panthers 2-0 Sunday night.

"John is really finding pucks and seeing it well," Flyers assistant coach Craig Ramsey said. "He is not searching for the puck. He knew it was there. He made the key saves again tonight."

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  • Jody Hull scored an unassisted goal in the first period and Eric Lindros added an empty-netter with 37.1 seconds left in the game.

    Vanbiesbrouck, who stopped 22 shots in recording his 38th career shutout, said he was a little lucky Sunday against Florida, one of his former teams.

    "I got fortunate, too," he said. "It's not easy. Guys are out there fighting, scratching, blocking pucks. We're doing it all."

    It was the fourth straight win for the Flyers after going 0-5-1 in their first six games. The Panthers lost their second straight after starting out with a 5-1-1 mark.

    Vanbiesbrouck, who has not allowed a goal in the last 214:27, is close to his club record and career high scoreless string of 218:42 established last season when he had three consecutive shutouts for the first time, also a Flyers record.

    "We're playing one shift at a time, not looking too far ahead," Vanbiesbrouck said. "We're doing the nuts and bolts things and getting it done."

    Vanbiesbrouck rarely was tested as he thwarted Florida's four power-play attempts. His best save came with about 13 minutes left in the game when he stopped Rob Niedermayer on a short-handed 2-on-1 attempt.

    The Panthers are only 1-for-12 on the power play in theilast two games.

    Hull scored his second goal of the season unassisted at 13:40 of the first period to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead, knocking in a rebound of his own breakaway shot off the left skate of Florida goaltender Sean Burke.

    Burke also played well, stopping 31 of 33 Philadelphia shots.

    "Burke had a good game but Vanbiesbrouck was really on," said Florida forward Cameron Stewart. "He and his team seem to be in a pretty good zone right now."

    Hull, who played for the Flyers last season, was re-aquired from the Atlanta Thrashers for future considerations on Oct. 15.

    Florida's Pavel Bure missed his fifth straight game with a groin injury. Ray Whitney, who is tied for the Panthers' scoring lead with eight points, and defenseman Bret Hedican were also scratched with groin strains.

    "Without Bure and Whitney it makes a big difference," said Florida coach Terry Murray. "Bure is a dynamite player and a tremendous goal scorer."

    Ramsey made the post-game remarks to the media in place of head coach Roger Neilson, who remained behind the Philadelphia bench through the game despite feeling ill. Neilson will be evaluated by a doctor on Monday.

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