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Predators keep Flyers searching

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Martin Erat scored with 5:09 left to help the Predators win their third straight, 3-2 over the Flyers on Wednesday night.

Steve Sullivan and Alexander Radulov also scored, and Chris Mason stopped 24 shots for the Central Division-leading Predators. Mason has been strong since replacing the injured Tomas Vokoun (thumb), improving to 5-1-1 this season.

About 90 seconds after the last-place Flyers tied it at 2 on R.J. Umberger's goal, Nashville scored on a turnover that showed why each team is at its current spot in the standings.

Flyers defenseman Mike Rathje whiffed over the top of the puck and had it swiped away in the circle by Paul Kariya, who quickly fed to Erat for his sixth goal of the season.

"It was just a bad turnover and Paul just gave me the puck in the circles and I shot it and it went in," Erat said.

Mike Knuble, who signed a two-year contract extension earlier in the day, scored his eighth goal for Philadelphia.

Also, Flyers goalie Robert Esche had groin surgery and could miss a month. Goalie Martin Houle was called up from the Phantoms, their AHL affiliate.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Steve Bernier's fluke goal was the winner for San Jose. Bernier missed a pass from Christian Ehrhoff only to have the puck bounce off his right leg and into the Minnesota net past goalie Manny Fernandez in the second period.

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CHICAGO - Tuomu Ruutu scored with 1:48 left to give the Blackhawks a victory in Denis Savard's first game as coach. Ruutu's shot trickled between goalie Marty Turco's pads after the Chicago center started the play by stealing the puck from Dallas star Mike Modano.

Around the league

COYOTES: Rookie forward Enver Lisin was suspended without pay after he left the organization to play in his native Russia instead of reporting to the minors. Lisin, 20, returned home where he is expected to play for Ak Bars Kazan, rather than AHL San Antonio.

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