Mike Richards' Career Night Leads Philadelphia Flyers Past Buffalo Sabres 6-3

Chris DiFrancescoAnalyst IFebruary 20, 2009

Nobody expected Flyers captain Mike Richards to come out last night at the Wachovia center and beat the Sabres almost single-handedly.

But he did, setting a career high with five points (two goals and three assists) in a 6-3 victory.

Richie put together a stellar performance. One of the two goals was shorthanded, which marked Richards' 18th career shorthand, tying him for seventh place on the Flyers’ all-time list with Rod Brind’Amour. 

“Richie was great tonight in all facets of the game,” said coach John Stevens. “This was a hard hockey game and Richie really stepped up for us.”

Last night's game wasn't a traditional walk in the park on Kelly Drive. As usual, the Sabres played tough hockey. It looked going into the third period that overtime was a possibility because of how tough each team played, but Mike Knuble broke the 3-3 tie with six minutes to go.

“Our game plan going in tonight was to try to keep it simple, get our forecheck going and get pucks and traffic to the net. When you do that, good things happen,” Richards said.

Defenseman Braydon Coburn had his own reaction to how his captain performed last night.

"He's definitely a heart-and-soul kind of guy," Coburn said. "To score the kind of goals he does, those aren't easy goals. Those aren't power-play tap-ins. Most of them are grind-it-out, flying headfirst into the boards, get your stick on the puck kind of goals. He's our leader for sure."

The Flyers now own a 31-16-9 record, including a 17-7-3 mark at home. They have also won 11 of their last 14 home games and are 15-3-2 in their last 20 games at the Wachovia Center. They have won three straight, outscoring opponents 16-6, and have won five of their last six.

It was complete dominance on the Flyers end, which they hope to continue Saturday when they face the dismantled Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.