Flyers clinch playoff spot, but the BIG story....

    The Flyers clinched a playoff spot and remained tied for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers Tuesday night.

    But the big story on Action News.....was Marty Biron's return to form.

   Biron made 29 saves and looked like the goalie who played brilliantly for most of March, then sputtered in his last four games before Tuesday.

   "We can't play much better than that," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. "....We had our chances. Their goalie was real good. Was he first star? If he wasn't, he should have been." (Jeff Carter was No. 1; Biron was No. 2.)

   The Flyers are going to need Biron to be at his best if they are going to make any noise in the playoffs, plain and simple.

   Carter was Tuesday's offensive hero. He had an assist and scored the game-winner with 12:28 left in the game, somehow finding room on the short side with a lightning-quick shot.

    Carter became the 20th player in the Flyers' history to reach 45 goals in a season. He has six points (four goals, two assists) in his last three games.

    The center said it was a relief to qualify for the playoffs. "But our main goal is to get fourth place and get the home-ice advantage," he said.

   The Flyers and Carolina each have 97 points, but the Flyers have a game in hand.

   The Flyers play the Rangers twice, sandwiched around a game against the lowly Islanders.

   Sizzling Carolina, a 9-0 winner over the Islanders on Tuesday, plays host to Buffalo on Thursday, then ends the regular season by playing at New Jersey on Saturday.

  Stay tuned.

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   Breakaways. Much-maligned LW Dan Carcillo played his best game as a Flyer, generating a handful of scoring chances and giving the team lots of energy......D Ryan Parent injured his groin in the second period and is day to day. Look for Danny Syvret to be recalled from the Phantoms.....Luca Sbisa, currently playing for Lethbridge, is expected to join the Flyers for the playoffs.....On $1 Pretzel Night, Wachovia Center fans devoured over 11,000 soft pretzels. That's 9,000 more than usual. You could  look it up.

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    Playoff tickets  for Round 1 (Home Games 1, 2 & 3) are on sale exclusively through ComcastTix at, by calling 1-800-298-4200, or visiting the Wachovia Center Box Office.


The dates and times for the games will be determined by the NHL after final seedings are set.