If it wasn't clear enough for you before, it should be now, the Flyers are back. And to take their tag-line from last year, they are back with a vengeance. After sweeping the weekend with wins against Buffalo on Friday and the Coyotes last night, the Flyers are 5-0-1 in their last six games. The Flyers are 6-1-1 in back-to-back games, - 3-1 in the first game, and 3-0-1 in the second. They have played four pairs of their 18 back-to-backers.
Marty Biron won back-to-back games, shutting out his former mates in Buffalo, and getting by last night to beat Phoenix. The 40 saves Biron made in Friday's 3-0 win in Buffalo were the most he had recorded in any of his 24 career shutouts. Jeff Carter continued his dominance last night, as he took over the hockey game in the third period, and eventually scoring the game tying goal from a gorgeous pass from Mike Richards.
The game got scary at most points, and yes Todd Fedoruk scored the go ahead goal with just over five minutes left in the game. They fought back, and with Marty Biron on the bench, it gave the Flyers the extra attacker. Jeff Carter cashed in to tie the game and proved he is now coming into his own as a top player in this league.
Coach John Stevens spoke on the play made by Carter, "The thing that's so exciting for me is that Jeff is doing all this scoring, but not giving up any of his defensive responsibilities." He later went on to say, "He's playing against top lines every night; he's got big checking assignments every night. He kills penalties, plays big minutes, and he's still putting up offensive numbers. I think he's really rounding himself into one of the better two-way players in the league."
Mike Richards who didn't play a great game up until the third period, really showed why he is the captain of this team. After assisting the game-tying goal to Jeff Carter, Richards took a ghost hooking call with about a minute to go in regulation. Starting the overtime period in the box, the Flyers killed the penalty and Richards came out like a man on a mission.
Richards along with Jeff Carter skated down the ice to try and close it out. With the puck on the captain's stick, he decided to take it upon himself to roof it over the right shoulder of the Phoenix netminder.
"Right over the blue line I was going to pass it right away," Richards said. "But I held on to it as long as I could. The guy slid by and I took the shot."
"We showed resilience," added Richards. "Even though we didn't have our best effort, we came out with two points."
"I thought we fed off our penalty kill tonight and kind of carried it into the overtime," added Richards whose team killed off seven of eight Coyotes powerplays.
Richards also spoke on the continued great play of his teammate Jeff Carter. "He really is playing unreal," Richards stated. "He's doing a lot of good things on the penalty kill and on the powerplay. Right now he's doing everything he can to win us hockey games."
Simon Gagne also recorded an assist, which adds to his consecutive point streak to seven games (3 goals, 7 assists). The Flyers have the day off today and will play the Dallas Stars tomorrow. Remember, the Stars are now without their captain Brendan Morrow. Morrow is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his knee.