Thomas Eriksson started a first-period onslaught of four goals in less than five minutes as the host Philadelphia Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 8-2, yesterday for their fifth straight National Hockey League victory.

The second-place Flyers, 13 points behind a week ago, moved within three of first-place Washington in the NHL's Patrick Division with two games in hand.

"We were on an emotional high against Edmonton and it might have been that we could have come down a bit from that emotional high, but that didn't happen today," Philadelphia Coach Mike Keenan said, referring to a 5-4 victory over the defending champions Saturday.

It was the ninth straight loss for Pittsburgh, 0-11-1 in its last 12 games. The Penguins have not won on the road since Jan. 2 and have lost 17 straight in Philadelphia.

"It was pretty tough to get only one shot on goal in the first period," Pittsburgh Coach Bob Berry said. "We did come back from 4-0 to 4-2 but that was it. We played pretty decently during the first half of the season, but things have gone so poorly since then.

"I don't know what the reason is, whether it's due to the wear and tear on young players who are not used to playing such a long schedule."

The winning goalie was Bob Froese, just recalled from the Hershey Bears of the AHL.

Froese, who stopped 16 shots, is 7-0-0 against Pittsburgh.