Flyers-Avalanche: Mike Richards Leads Way as Philadelphia Gets Revenge
Randy Jones, who was cleared to play, was sent down to the Phantoms for a rehab start. The team doesn’t know if Jones will play against the Canadiens.
Tonight is the 30th game of the year and 17th game at home for the Flyers, who are 9-4-3 at the Wachovia Center.
The Flyers are unbeaten in regulation in their last nine games at home, going 7-0-2. The Flyers are 12-1-3 in their last 16 games and have secured 27 out of a possible 32 points. Philadelphia has seen four of its last six games go to past regulation play, as well as five of its last eight games.
The Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-3, on Saturday night, breaking a string of 13 consecutive home games that were decided by one goal. Philadelphia has had 14 of their 16 games at home decided by one goal, the only game that was decided by more than one goal was a 5-3 loss vs. Montreal on Oct. 13, in which an empty-net goal was scored in the final minute of play.
The Flyers have scored the game's first goal in 11 of their last 14 contests. This is the second and final regular season meeting against the Avalanche, and first time they have faced Colorado twice in one season since the 2002-'03 season.
It is also the first time Colorado has visited the Wachovia Center since Jan. 14, 2006, in which the Avalanche won 4-3 in overtime.
The Avalanche used three goals on the power play to defeat the Flyers in their first meeting of the year by a score of 5-2 on Oct. 16. Mike Richards has registered at least a point in each of his last seven games, posting six goals and 12 points, and four multiple-point contests.
Martin Biron has posted an 8-1-3 record in his last 12 games, recording a 2.55 goals-against average and .915 save percentage. Antero Niittymaki has posted a 5-1-0 record in his last six games, recording a 2.14 GAA and .926 save percentage. Jeff Carter has recorded at least a point in 10 of his last 12 games, posting 18 points (10G,8A), including six multi-point contests.
Carter also leads the NHL with three goals and five points in overtime this season. The Flyers 6-5 shootout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday marked the only time in Flyers history Philadelphia earned a point (with a win, tie, overtime loss or shootout loss) from a game in which they trailed by four goals or more in the third period.
It was also the only time that the team trailed by four or more goals in a game at home and ended up winning the contest. The only time in club history that the team trailed by four or more goals in a game and won was February 23, 1988 at Detroit, when the Flyers trailed 5-1 and wound up winning the game 11-6 (It was one of nine games in which head coach and then defensemen John Stevens played for the Flyers).
Lastly, Martin Biron is out for tonight’s game with flu-like symptoms, so Antero Niittymaki will start.
Puck drop: 7:08
Penalty: PHI-Powe-Holding(2:00), 9:01. COL-Wolski-Holding(2:00), 11:01. PHI-Alberts-Holding(2:00), 16:33.
Goals: COL-Stastny(8) PP, unassisted, 9:23. PHI-Knuble(13) PowerPlay, Assists-Richards(23), Coburn(10), 11:37. PHI-Carter(22), shorthanded, Gagne(20), Vaananen(8), 18:12.
PP: PHI-1/1 COL-1/2
PK: PHI-1/2 COL-0/1
Shots: PHI-8 COL-13
Notes: Mike Knuble’s power play goal was his 100th goal with the Flyers, congrats Mike! Mike Richards who assisted Knuble’s goal pushes his current point streak to eight games. Jeff Carter’s shorthanded goal adds to the Flyers' dominance on the special teams. The team now leads the NHL with 12 shorthanded goals.
Penalty: PHI-Asham-Fighting(5:00), COL-Stewart-Fighting(5:00), 5:58. PHI-Gagne-Hooking(2:00), 7:27. PHI-Hartnell-Fighting(5:00), COL-LaPerriere-Fighting(5:00), 12:10. COL-Liles-Holding(2:00), 13:30. COL-McLeod-Cross checking(2:00), 14:45. PHI-Carter-High sticking(2:00), 16:18.
Goals: PHI-Lupul(10), Assists, Timonen(16), 11:24. PHI-Richards(13), Assists-Gagne(21), Knuble(9), 12:42. COL-Jones(5), Assists-Hensick(7), 18:39.
PP: PHI-1/3 COL-1/4
PK: PHI-3/4 COL-2/3
Shots: PHI-9 COL-9
Notes: A lot of fights in the period, pretty exciting. A funny goal by Mike Richards that gives him another multi-point game, so he stays hot. The Lupul goal will most likely be changed to Scott Hartnell, he visibly deflected it in. The Avs got a late second period goal to make 4-2. I still think the Flyers have more goals in them, we will see.
Penalty: COL-Leopold-Hooking(2:00), 1:26. PHI-Asham-Tripping(2:00), 6:49. COL-Smyth-Hooking(2:00), 14:14.
Goals: PHI-Gagne(16) PowerPlay, Assists-Richards(24), Timonen(17), 2:14
PP: PHI-2/5 COL-1/5
PK: PHI-4/5 COL-3/5
Shots: PHI-24 COL-34
Notes: That power-play goal by Gagne was their second of the game, Mike Richards got the assist which gives him three points on the night. Kimmo Timonen gets another power play assist. The Flyers are 50 percent on the power play as of right now, as they continue their pursuit of being the number-one special teams club in hockey.
Simon Gagne was not on the ice for the Smyth penalty. News is he had a stinger or a cramp and was being tended to by Flyers trainers while on the bench.
Niittymaki had 29 saves tonight, awesome goaltending from the Finland native. The Flyers with their win tonight push their winning streak to five games and are 13-1-3 in their last 17 games.
The Flyers will be back on Thursday to play the Montreal Canadiens. Mike Richards is my star of the game tonight, producing three points (1G, 2A).
Good night from the Wachovia Center. I'll be back tomorrow with my normal quote-filled article.
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