NEWARK, N.J. - General manager Paul Holmgren is on record as saying the Flyers have no interest in acquiring Dallas goalie Marty Turco, who many media outlets and Internet sites say is headed to the cap-strapped Flyers despite his $5.7 million cap hit.
Funny thing is, a healthy Flyers goalie is outplaying Turco.
His name is Michael Leighton.
Ever since the Flyers claimed him off reentry waivers from Carolina, the late-blooming Leighton has been one of the NHL's most consistent goalies.
Entering last night's start against the New Jersey Devils, Leighton was 9-3-1, with two no-decisions, in 15 games (14 starts) with the Flyers. He had a 2.24 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
If he had enough starts to qualify among the league leaders, Leighton's goals-against average with the Flyers would be fifth in the league - and slightly lower than the legendary Martin Brodeur's 2.27.
Turco, 34, has a 2.73 GAA average and a .911 save percentage.
Offense - not goaltending or defense - has been the Flyers' weakness.
With Ray Emery bothered by an injured left hip, Leighton, 28, made his fourth consecutive start last night. After taking shots from teammates during the morning skate, Emery declined to comment.
The Flyers still did not have a report on Emery's MRI exam.
As for Leighton, he has "given us a chance to win every game. That's what you ask of your goaltenders," coach Peter Laviolette said before last night's game. "We didn't give him the support offensively that you need on the road in order to be successful, but he's done a good job."
Before last night, the Flyers had scored a total of two goals in the four games Leighton didn't win.
Leighton was asked whether he thought he and Brian Boucher could handle the load if Emery's injury proves long-term.
"I'm really not trying to think about that," he said. "I'm just worrying about how I'm playing, and just want to play well - and from there, hopefully things will work out."
Carter in line
The Flyers officially announced yesterday that Jeff Carter will be the first forward added to Team Canada if a player is injured and cannot compete in the Olympics. Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf, a Team Canada member, has an injured left ankle. It won't be known until this weekend whether he can play.
Snowed-in fans who could not attend last night's game in Newark - a huge contingent usually makes the trip from the Philadelphia area - can exchange their tickets and receive a 50 percent discount on tickets to one of the following Devils home games: March 15 vs. Boston, March 23 vs. Columbus, or March 30 vs. Boston. . . . New Jersey star Zach Parise (upper-body injury) was a late scratch last night. . . . The Flyers will play a key home-and-home series with Montreal starting tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the Wachovia Center. . . . Weather permitting, Flyers goalie coach Jeff Reese will give a clinic for Ed Snider Hockey Foundation players at 3:30 p.m. today at the Rizzo Rink.
- Sam Carchidi