PHILADELPHIA -Anson Carter scored twice in the third period, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Markus Naslund, Trevor Linden and Nolan Baumgartner also scored for the Northwest Division-leading Canucks, who won their fourth straight game.

Michal Handzus, Kim Johnsson, Mike Knuble and Sami Kapanen scored for Philadelphia, which had won two in a row.

The injury-depleted Flyers lost two more players when forward Mike Richards went out with a concussion, and fellow rookie Jeff Carter left after getting hit in the head by the puck.

Philadelphia already is without its leading goal scorer, Simon Gagne, captain Keith Primeau, defensemen Eric Desjardins and Joni Pitkanen, and forwards Turner Stevenson and Donald Brashear.

Naslund tied it at 3 when his shot from the side of the net hit off a defenseman’s skate in the crease and went past goaltender Robert Esche.

Carter made it 4-3 just 37 seconds later, scoring from in front after a giveaway.

Several minutes later, Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock pulled Esche for Antero Niittymaki. Carter scored on the first shot against Niittymaki to give Vancouver a 5-3 lead.

Kapanen scored during a scramble in front with 1:26 left, but the Flyers couldn’t tie it, despite getting a few chances from in close after pulling the goalie.

The Canucks beat the New York Rangers and the Flyers – the two top teams in the Atlantic Division – on the road in consecutive games.

Knuble gave Philadelphia a 3-2 lead on his 14th goal in the second period. His slap shot from along the right boards hit off goalie Alex Auld and trickled in.

Johnsson made it 2-1 in the second. Handzus led a 4-on-2 break, and slid a pass across to Johnsson, who stopped the puck with his skate and slapped a shot by Auld. Baumgartner tied it at 2 on a slap shot that hit off Knuble and skipped past Esche.

Handzus followed up his own shot to put the Flyers ahead 1-0. The Canucks tied it at 1 when Linden’s shot through a screen went in.

Notes: Josh Gratton was called up from Philadelphia’s AHL affiliate, becoming the 16th player who played for the Phantoms since last season to appear with the Flyers this year. … Vancouver is 4-0 against the Eastern Conference. … Naslund leads the NHL with 100 goals since the 2002-03 season. … The Flyers are 66-27-13 against Vancouver. … Seventeen of Philadelphia’s 19 home games have been sellouts. … The start was pushed back a half-hour when poor weather and traffic forced many Flyers players to arrive late.

AP-ES-12-15-05 2209EST


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