|PHX||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|PHI||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Robert Esche credits much of his success to Sean Burke. He returned the favor by beating his best friend Friday night.
Esche stopped 18 shots and Tony Amonte scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, leading the Philadelphia Flyers to their 11th straight victory at home, 3-2 over the Phoenix Coyotes.
Esche, traded to Philadelphia before last season, learned a lot from Burke when the two goaltenders played together in Phoenix.
"I was a real head case when I came up. I did a lot of dumb things," Esche said. "He got on me, really taught me how to play the game."
Esche's relationship with Burke actually began more than 10 years ago. Burke was playing an exhibition game with the New Jersey Devils in Utica, N.Y. and Esche was just a young fan. Burke gave Esche his stick that day, and the two later became close friends.
"I was real excited to play him," said Esche, who still has that stick. "I took another step today because last year when I played against him I wasn't ready. Tonight I was calm the whole game."
Jim Vandermeer and John LeClair also scored for the NHL-leading Flyers, who are 12-0-2 at the Wachovia Center this season -- the only team unbeaten at home.
Branko Radivojevic and Andrei Nazarov scored for the Coyotes, who were unbeaten in their last four games. Burke, a former Flyers goalie, had 28 saves.
"Everyone knows what our record is at home so they're putting forth their best effort," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said.
Amonte gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead midway through the second period with his ninth goal. Jeremy Roenick set it up with a crisp cross-ice pass to Amonte, who slapped it past Burke.
Amonte and Roenick also are former Coyotes. Roenick signed with the Flyers as a free agent in 2001. Amonte came over in a deal last March.
"J.R. loves that pass," Amonte said. "I just have to be ready for it."
LeClair gave the Flyers a 3-1 lead on a power-play goal 1:18 into the third period. He redirected a pass from Michal Handzus between Burke's legs.
But Nazarov cut it to 3-2 with his first goal just 16 seconds later.
"They are a tough team, a deep team," Coyotes coach Bob Francis said. "They are big, strong and they come at you in waves."
Esche kept it there with a nice save, smothering a shot by Chris Gratton, who also once played for the Flyers, with 27 seconds left.
The Coyotes took a 1-0 lead on Radivojevic's goal with 12 seconds left in the first period. Paul Mara took a pass from Brian Savage, held the puck then slid a pass to Radivojevic, who one-timed it past Esche for his seventh goal.
Vandermeer tied it at 1 just 2:59 into the second period with his first goal of the season. He one-timed a pass from Justin Williams just inside the left post.
"One mistake followed by another puts you in trouble," Coyotes center Shane Doan said.
|Branko Radivojevic (7) ASST: Paul Mara (14), Brian Savage (5)|
1 - 0 PHX
|Jim Vandermeer (1) ASST: Justin Williams (12)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Tony Amonte (9) ASST: Jeremy Roenick (15), Donald Brashear (3)|
2 - 1 PHI
|PPG - John Leclair (5) ASST: Michal Handzus (9), Simon Gagne (8)|
3 - 1 PHI
|Andrei Nazarov (1) ASST: Radoslav Suchy (7), Cale Hulse (7)|
3 - 2 PHI
|Chris Gratton Hooking against Justin Williams|
|John Leclair Tripping against Matthew Spiller|
|Todd Fedoruk Interference on goalkeeper against Sean Burke|
|Ladislav Nagy Unsportsmanlike conduct against Justin Williams|
|Daymond Langkow Roughing against Eric Weinrich|
|Justin Williams Unsportsmanlike conduct against Ladislav Nagy|
|Eric Weinrich Roughing against Daymond Langkow|
|Branko Radivojevic Hooking against Tony Amonte|
|Donald Brashear Roughing against Tyson Nash|
|Donald Brashear Cross checking against Ladislav Nagy|