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Flyers sign goalie Leighton to two-year extension

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia Flyers signed goalie Michael Leighton, who was instrumental in the team's march to the Stanley Cup finals this year, to a two-year contract on Wednesday.

Leighton replaced starter Brian Boucher in the conference semi-finals against Boston and helped Philadelphia become just the third NHL team to bounce back from a 3-0 series deficit and take a best-of-seven playoff.

The 29-year-old netminder, who was acquired by the Flyers on waivers in December from the Carolina Hurricanes, had an 8-3 record and a 2.46 goals against average during the playoffs.

"Michael came to our team in December last year and played extremely well for us in the regular season and the playoffs," general manager Paul Holmgren said on the team's website (http://flyers.nhl.com).

"Michael is an athletic goalie who we feel is just coming into his own as an NHL goaltender and we look forward to Michael building on the level of play he established this past season."

Leighton, who went unbeaten in regulation in his first 10 starts last season, had a 16-5-2 record and 2.48 goals against average in 27 regular season appearances.

(Writing by Steve Ginsburg in Baltimore; Editing by Frank Pingue)