The victory moved the Flyers to within two points of New Jersey, the Atlantic Division leader, but the Devils have a game in hand. The Flyers have four games remaining.
"I'm not scoring," Cechmanek said when told of his accomplishment. "I've got time. I've got seven seasons to score."
Seriously, though . . .
"It's a different time now," Cechmanek said. "Hexy played at a time with a lot of goals. Now it's different hockey."
Cechmanek did not have many tough saves on 20 shots, but made the ones when the Flyers needed them. He was protecting a 1-0 lead in the final two minutes of the second period when he got an insurance goal from Michal Handzus.
"Your goaltender has to make the saves when called upon," team captain Keith Primeau said. "He finds ways to win the hockey games and he keeps pucks out of the net."
Cechmanek played with a sore groin muscle, which bothered Hextall in his career, too.
"Since Sept. 1, he says he is sore," said coach Ken Hitchcock, who thinks Cechmanek is a hypochondriac like Belfour when it comes to injuries. "He is not hurt, he is not injured, he's fine. He just complains all the time."
Cechmanek looked more comfortable and fluid than he did Thursday against Boston. His movement around the crease was noticeably better. He had a couple of split saves with no apparent recovery problems.
"I felt good," he said. "It was real easy."
The Flyers took a 2-0 lead into the final period and put the game out of the reach at 13 minutes, 5 seconds, on Marty Murray's backhander off a rush. Murray had a strong defensive game as well as an assist on the team's first goal.
"That is something you can't teach," Hitchcock said of Murray's defensive instincts around the puck. "He has unbelievable hockey sense."
Radovan Somik returned after missing nine games with back spasms, but wasn't reunited with his partner Handzus. Somik began with Claude Lapointe and Eric Chouinard and finished with Primeau and Sami Kapanen.
Hitchcock wasn't happy with the Flyers' play in the opening period.
"I thought we were trying to play around the checking," he said.
The Penguins have an AHL lineup of players from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, with a few NHL players thrown in. Hence, the Flyers showed them little respect as one player after another tried to go one-on-two and one-on-three, forcing things that weren't there.
Maybe it was Jeremy Roenick's 26th goal of the season, at 3:23 of the opening period, that made them think the Penguins would roll over. Roenick took a Murray pass up the right side and slapped the puck over goalie Sebastien Caron's shoulder from the right circle.
"I got really mad at myself for not shooting the puck on my two-on-one" against Boston, Roenick said. "I've been thinking over the last couple of days [that] if I get another one, I'm shooting it. I had no doubt about where I was going with this one."
Despite four power plays in the first period, the Flyers tested Caron only once with the man advantage. In all, they had five power plays but just two shots, by Roenick and Mark Recchi.
"What is worrisome is no shots from the point," Hitchcock said. "We had so many opportunities to put shots on net, and we made one extra play. Things on the back end are happening far too slow."
The power play is 1 for 21 over the last five games.
Cechmanek faced five shots but was sharp on a flurry midway into the first period when he stopped Eric Meloche twice from close range and smothered a third shot by Martin Straka.
The Penguins ratcheted up the game several notches in the second period. Were it not for Tomas Surovy's turnover, Handzus would not have scored at 18:46.
Surovy fired the puck off the left defensive boards under pressure, and Handzus retrieved it at the right circle and fired a wrist shot with Jamie Pushor screening Caron. The goal was Handzus' 22d of the season. He is within three goals of tying his career high, set in 1999-2000 with St. Louis.
After the goal, Cechmanek sealed the victory.
"He made some big saves when we needed them," Roenick said.
Contact staff writer Tim Panaccio at 215-854-2847 or email@example.com.