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Carter helps Flyers clinch playoff berth

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Jeff Carter scored the go-ahead goal at

7:32 of the third period, helping the Philadelphia Flyers clinch

a playoff berth with a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on

Tuesday night.

Carter moved ahead of New Jersey's Zach Parise for second place

in the NHL scoring race with his 45th goal. His shot from the

side of the crease dribbled past Florida goaltender Tomas

Vokoun, who appeared to lose his balance.

Joffrey Lupul also scored for the Flyers, whose 97th point and

43rd victory surpassed their 2007-08 totals (95 and 42).

Brett McLean scored for the Panthers, who dropped behind the New

York Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the

Eastern Conference. The Rangers beat Montreal and have a

two-point edge on Florida.

The Flyers, who are tied with Carolina for fourth in the

conference, have three regular season games remaining -- home

and home with the Rangers and at the New York Islanders. Florida

plays at Atlanta and at home against Washington.

McLean put the Panthers ahead with his seventh goal at 4:30 of

the second period, scoring from the slot with a wrist shot after

taking a centering pass from Michael Frolik.

The Flyers tied it with a flukey goal at 15:45 of the period.

Matthew Carle poked a shot that bounced off Lupul's skate into

the net. Lupul was credited with his 24th goal.

Philadelphia's Martin Biron stopped 29 shots and made a crucial

save on a shot by David Booth in the closing seconds with the

Panthers attacking with an extra skater.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced that left winger

Riley Cote will be sidelined for the rest of the season after

undergoing surgery on his right ring finger at Union Memorial

Hospital in Baltimore. Cote injured the finger in a fight during

a game with the New York Islanders on March 28.


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