Flyers Soar With LeClair's Hat Trick

Once again, John LeClair tormented the Tampa Bay Lightning.


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  • got his eighth career hat trick, and Eric Lindros had a goal and two assists Friday night as the Philadelphia Flyers remained undefeated with a 5-2 victory over the Lightning.

    LeClair has 20 goals in 28 games against the Lightning.

    "It's something I can't explain," he said. "Certain teams you tend to have some luck against. It just seems Tampa is one of those teams where I have a tendency to get some breaks."

    LeClair broke open a 2-1 game with two second-period goals. The forward, who has four goals and three assists over the past two games, scored at 44 seconds on a backhander from the slot. His second goal came at 4:08 when LeClair batted a waist-high puck past Daren Puppa.

    LeClair completed the hat trick, his second against Puppa, with a power-play goal with 7:06 left in the third period.

    "Certain goaltenders obviously you know where to shoot on and have better luck against," LeClair said. "Puppa is definitely a goaltender I've had luck against."

    LeClair's first hat trick against Puppa came in the Flyers' 5-2 win over Tampa Bay on Feb. 14, 1995.

    Ron Hextall stopped 24 shots for his 231st victory for the Flyers (3-0-0), moving him withione win of tying Bernie Parent for first place on Philadelphia's career list.

    Tampa Bay (0-3-1) is winless in its past 14 games dating back to a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on March 30.

    Wendel Clark had a first-period goal and Stephane Richer scored with 56 seconds left for Tampa Bay.

    "Too much Leclair, too much Lindros. They should in finals of the Stanley Cup," said Tampa Bay coach Jacques Demers. "To much talent versus a team that wants to get there someday. I can't fault our players ... they tried."

    First-period goals by Colin Forbes and Lindros, who has five points in the last two games, gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead after one period. Alexandre Daigle picked up his 200th career point when he set up Forbes' goal.

    The Flyers have dominated their series against the Lightning with an 18-5-5 record.

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