The Flyers win again
Nittymaki has a perfect 2-0 record for the Flyers in his first 2 starts. A Native from Finland, "Nitty" was selected by the Flyers in a 6th round pick back in 1998. He has a 14-7-5 record with t he Philadelphia Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers. Nitty is scheduled to play a few games along w/ Hackett after the All-Star break.
Well looks like the Flyers Rookie Goalie, Antero Niittymaki, is doing a good job filling in for the injured Robert Esche. His record is a perfect 2-0 in his first two starts. He has only allowed one goal each of those games. Antero Niittymaki, or as some teammates call him "NItty," or as Hitchcock calls him "Frank the Enforcer" is a Europeon goaltender from Finland. His AHL stats show that he's not just a "rookie," his record in the AHL is 14-7-5. He was a 1998 sixth round pick for the Flyers, and really has improved over last season. Some are starting to compare him to Calgary's goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, who is also a native Fin. Esche is expected to out for at least 2-3 weeks. Jeff Hackett has been cleared to come back after the NHL All-Star weekend, and is expected to play New Jersey in the Wachovia Center on February 10th.
In other Flyer news, the Flyers are now 8-2-1 in their last 11 games. Mark Recchi scored his 20th goal of the season on Thursday night in Atlanta. Recchi leads the Flyers in goals, points, and assists. In Atlanta the Flyers won 5-1. The Handzus, LeClair, and Recchi line is the best line in the NHL right now and each player got at least one point, with Recchi having 2 (1 goal, 1 assist). Also scoring for the Flyers Thursday night was Tony Amonte, Sami Kapanen, John LeClair, and Simon Gange. The Thrashers got the first goal of the game in the first but the Flyers battled back in the second and scored 4 goals, and then, with just 27 seconds left in the 3rd, LeClair scored the final goal of the game, to put away Atlanta 5-1. Atlanta's All-Star representative Ilya Kovalchuk was benched in the 2nd, after he had a slip up that led Gange to score a goal. The Flyers face Atlantic divison rivals, the New Jersey Devils, on the 10th of this month. The last time these two played was in a home-and-home series which ended the Flyers undefeated streak at home at 13 games.