While other teams are scoring goals in bunches, the Philadelphia Flyers are winning more games than any other team because they play solid defense.
Even though their best goaltender, Pelle Lindbergh, was killed in an auto accident early in the season, the Flyers continue to excel on defense.
With Bob Froese, who played in only 17 games last season as backup to Lindbergh, the Flyers have compiled a 32-11 record largely because they are giving up fewer goals than any other team.
Froese had to stop 35 shots Sunday night at Philadelphia to lead the Flyers to a 3-0 victory over Calgary. It was Froese's third shutout of the season and the Flyers fifth, best in the league. In 43 games the Flyers have yielded only 127 goals.
Tim Kerr scored his 24th power-play goal of the season late in the first period to give Froese all the working margin he needed. For good measure, defenseman Mark Howe scored a short-handed goal early in the second period, and a few minutes later Brian Propp scored on another power play to conclude the scoring.
The Flames, who have lost nine in a row on the road, had 14 shots in both the second and third periods, but Froese handled them all.
In the best of his four NHL seasons, the 27-year-old Froese has the best goals-against record in the league. His shutout lowered it to 2.45.
It is an imposing record in a season in which only one other goalie, Washington's Al Jensen, of those who have played in 10 games, has a goals-against record of under 3.00.
The shutout was the second in the last three games for the Flyers, who increased their lead in the Patrick Division to 10 points. Rookie Darren Jensen blanked Washington, 4-0, Thursday night.
Chicago 4, Hartford 2--Denis Savard tied a league record when he scored four seconds after the faceoff opening the third period at Chicago. It also happened to be the winning goal.
The record was established by Claude Provost of Montreal, Nov. 9, 1957, against Boston.
Savard also had an assist to help the Black Hawks to their 11th win in the last 13 games. The win increased the Black Hawks' lead in the Norris Division to two points.
St. Louis 2, New York Rangers 2--The Blues, playing their fourth road game in less than a week, spent most of the game dumping the puck out of their own zone.
They earned a tie when Mark Hunter scored his 26th goal in the last minute of the period.
When the Rangers couldn't even get a shot on goal in the overtime, they extended to nine the number of overtime games they have failed to win this season (0-6-3).
The Rangers scored on two of their first three shots in the game, then failed on their next 33.