For Flyers defenseman

Braydon Coburn,

yesterday's 5-4 loss to the Edmonton Oilers was especially frustrating.

While he was on the ice for three of his team's four goals, including his second-period tally that cut Edmonton's lead to 3-2, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Coburn was also out there for all five opposing scores.

Twice, in the first and second periods, Coburn was scorched by right winger Ales Hemsky.

"He made some nice plays, I thought," said Coburn, a 23-year-old from Calgary who is in his fourth NHL season. "He had a lot of speed."

On Hemsky's first goal, with less than eight minutes left in the opening period, he skated past Coburn, made a nifty move in the clear, and backhanded a shot past a sprawling Marty Biron to put the Oilers in front, 2-1.

"You take the lessons you learn from today and try to move on," said Coburn, who was forced to backpedal on the play when Hemsky sped into the zone.

"Maybe there's something fundamentally that I could do differently."

Coach John Stevens, once a steady defenseman for the Phantoms, said he expects Coburn and company, including first-line defensive mate Kimmo Timonen, to rebound from yesterday's struggles.

"I know me, personally, it was always a motivating factor if I got beat one-on-one," he said. "We all get beat. I prided myself in being a good defensive defenseman, and I swore I'd never get beat. But you do. And when you do, then it kind of refocuses you again and it really makes you bear down in those situations."

Repeat scorer. With a first-period tally yesterday, Mike Knuble increased his goal-scoring streak to five games.

"I wouldn't say I've been getting a crazy number of chances," said the 36-year-old right winger, who has six goals and four assists in 10 appearances. "I've just been taking advantage of opportunities near the net, which is one of the strengths of my game."

Notes. After going 5-5-0 last season against Western Conference clubs, the Flyers are 1-0-3 this year. . . . Yesterday's loss increased the Flyers' home losing streak to Edmonton to five games. Their last victory was Nov. 9, 2000, by a 4-1 score. . . . Riley Cote slugged it out with Steve MacIntyre early in the second period. Both landed solid shots to the head. For Cote, it was his league-leading seventh fight of the year. . . . With video highlights on the Jumbotron, the Phillies' World Series championship was recognized midway through the first period.

Shawn Hill, also known as "The Dancing Guy," and the Phillie Phanatic swayed to the music together in an upper-level performance during a break in the action. . . . Simon Gagne has eight points (three goals, five assists) in the last three games and has notched at least one point in nine of 10 appearances. . . . After a day off today, the Flyers are scheduled to resume practice tomorrow morning at the Skate Zone in Voorhees.

- Rick O'Brien