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Flyers 5, Canucks 3

January 1, 1997

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ John LeClair scored twice, including the winner at 9:49 of the third period, and assisted on another goal as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 Tuesday night to extend their undefeated streak to 14 games.

The Flyers lost defenseman Paul Coffey after he collided with teammate Eric Lindros in the first period. The two players were headed in opposite directions looking the other way when the mishap occurred at 13:28 while Flyers defenseman Janne Niinimaa carried the puck out of the visitors’ zone.

Coffey, the NHL’s all-time scoring leader for defensemen, lay motionless for five minutes before being taken off on a stretcher. He didn’t return to the contest but a team spokesman later said Coffey was alert.

Undefeated in December, Philadelphia is 12-0-2 since a Nov. 27 loss to the New York Islanders.

LeClair had his own rebound bounce in off his torso to put the Flyers ahead 3-2 in the third period. Three minutes later, he redirected Mikael Renberg’s feed past goaltender Kirk McLean to boost the Flyers’ lead to 4-2.

The Canucks lost for the fourth straight time and have been outscored by a whopping 25-8 during that stretch.

The Canucks led 1-0 and 2-1 at the intermissions before the Flyers erupted for four straight goals in the third period.

Lindros, Trent Klatt and Joel Otto scored the Flyers’ other goals.

Mark Wotton scored his first two goals of the season to pace the Canucks, while Esa Tikkanen added the other.

With the score 2-2, Vancouver’s Pavel Bure nearly put the Canucks ahead six minutes into the third but he hit the crossbar after cutting in from a sharp angle and chipping a shot over Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall.

The Flyers outshot the Canucks 30-20.

The Flyers also lost another defenseman early in the game as Karl Dykhuis took an accidental stick in the face from Donald Brashear at 3:43 of the first period and received a nasty gash.

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