BURKE WANTS TO PLAY
The competitive fire remains quite active in Sean Burke.
When the backup goaltender yesterday was asked if his first choice would be to see No. 1 Robert Esche healthy, Burke said: "My first option would be to play and then see Robert healthy. I am preparing to play if needed. I think it could be a little bit easier to play on the road. You don't have to please anybody or do anything fancy. You just have to go out and do the job."
Burke, 37, broke into the NHL with the New Jersey Devils in 1987-88 but his appearance on Sunday was just his 35th NHL playoff game.
YOUNGSTERS RISE UP
Two of the more effective Flyers in the past couple of games have been forwards Simon Gagne, 24, and Branko Radivojevic, 23. Both have shown up at the rink with lots of enthusiasm and it paid off in Game 5, as Gagne recorded his first three assists of the 2004 playoffs and Radivojevic scored his first NHL playoff goal.
"(Gagne) is getting better as the playoffs are moving on," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He is finding the more physical and tenacious he plays, the more success he has offensively."
Gagne said he has made an effort to turn his intensity level up a notch.
"We had a little meeting the day before Game 5 and a lot of guys said they could bring more energy," Gagne said. "Myself, I knew I could bring that and use some speed to make some turnovers."
Hitchcock noted that Radivojevic, who came to Philly with Burke in the deal that sent Mike Comrie to Phoenix on Feb. 9, has been more effective with increased ice time.
"It gives me a good flow to be out there more," Radivojevic said. "I'm a guy who could bring more energy too. With more ice time, it's a plus for me."
Flu, probable for Game 6.
Suspected concussion, doubtful for Game 6.
Arm, out for season. <
TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun
, Last Updated: 3:00 PM ET