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Primeau brings Flyers out of skid

By Wire services
Published January 17, 2004

PHILADELPHIA - The Maple Leafs were waiting for this game. The Flyers were waiting for their captain.

Keith Primeau had an early goal in his return to Philadelphia's lineup, leading the Flyers to a 4-1 victory Friday night. Primeau, out since breaking his thumb in the team's last win Jan.2, helped the Flyers snap a six-game winless streak (0-4-1-1).

"The big thing for us was Primeau comes in and calms the whole thing down," coach Ken Hitchcock said.

Primeau made an immediate impact, deflecting a wrist shot past Ed Belfour for the game's first goal 3:25 into the first period. This week, several Toronto players said they anticipated a rematch because of a 7-1 defeat to Philadelphia on Nov.1.

HURRICANES 4, THRASHERS 3: Jeff O'Neill broke out of a seasonlong slump with his second career hat trick for visiting Carolina. O'Neill had five goals in 44 games before breaking out. His second goal at 8:23 of the second pulled the Hurricanes within 3-2. He scored the winner at 14:02, 44 seconds after Kevyn Adams tied it.

BLUE JACKETS 3, KINGS 2 (OT): Rick Nash got his second goal of the game in overtime for Columbus, which broke an eight-game home winless skid. Nash, the league's leading goal scorer with 27, put Columbus ahead 2-1 in the third but Alexander Frolov tied it for Los Angeles about a minute later.

RED WINGS 3, COYOTES 3: Steve Yzerman became the seventh player to reach 1,700 points and Henrik Zetterberg scored with 1:44 left in regulation to give host Detroit a tie. Yzerman assisted on Kris Draper's goal that tied it at 1 early in the second. The captain has 672 goals and 1,028 assists in 1,417 regular-season games, all with Detroit.

WILD 4, PENGUINS 2: Visiting Minnesota spoiled rookie Marc-Andre Fleury's return to the league, scoring four in a 5:20 span midway through the third. Fleury, the No.1 overall draft pick last year, made his first start since playing for Canada in the world junior championships.

HOUSLEY RETIRES: Phil Housley, the highest-scoring American-born player in history, retired after failing to sign with a team this season. The 39-year-old defenseman had 1,232 points on 338 goals and 894 assists in 21 seasons with eight teams. He made his last appearance for the U.S. team last year in the world championships.

HEATLEY SKATES: Dany Heatley was back on the ice with his teammates in a 45-minute workout. Heatley did pretty much the same drills he has been doing by himself, but his appearance with the team was his first since the car wreck in September that killed teammate Dan Snyder, a crash that left Heatley with a broken jaw and torn knee ligaments.

FLAMES: Center Stephan Yelle will miss at least four weeks with a sprained MCL in his right knee.

[Last modified January 17, 2004, 01:32:39]


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