Richards, Carter Strike Bolts 6-2

Lightning Flyers HockeyPHILADELPHIA- The Philadelphia Flyers looked like a team tonight. A team that is becoming more of a unit and showing discipline. That all showed tonight as the Flyers pounded the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2 at the Wachovia Center.

The Flyers were in mid-season form throughout the contest. They made crisp passes, took effective shots and created scoring chances. Actually, to be precise, the Flyers scored four five-on-five goals which makes nine in the past two games. That stat was invisible before Saturday.

That makes two-straight wins for the Flyers. Two straight home victories. Two straight routs.

Captain Mike Richards and Jeff Carter led the way for the Flyers, each with a pair of goals and an assist. Richards and Hartnell scored in the first period to give Philadelphia an early 2-0 lead.

The Richards tally was a great redirection from a Pronger slapshot, while Hartnell took a no-look pass from Richards and put a sneaky backhand past Bolts’ goaltender Mike Smith.

“The past couple of weeks, we’ve been trying to pass the puck into the net, instead of getting some dirty goals,” said Richards. “We’ve been working on trying to get pucks to the net and bearing down in front. We did that tonight.”

James van Riemsdyk, who leads all rookies in points, setup Jeff Carter’s first of his two at 3:20 in the second. Van Riemsdyk is looking better every shift and seems acclimated with this team every time he’s out on that ice.

Another high point in this game came when rookie David Laliberte netted his second goal in as many days in the second period. He becomes the first Flyer to score in his first two NHL games since Eric Lindros on Oct. 6 and 9, 1992. He’s the fifth to do that in Flyers franchise history.

“When you have guys out of the lineup, you wonder where you’re going to get the production from,” coach John Stevens said. “We’re missing two guys that produce a lot of offense for us, but when that happens, you ask other guys to take advantage of the opportunities, and they have.”

Exactly 35 seconds later Richards deked his way to a backhand goal, his second of the night. That goal forced Lightning coach Rick Tocchet to pull Smith in favor of ex-Flyer Antero Niittymaki.

Niittymaki would go on to let up Carter’s second goal of the afternoon.

Flyers goalie Ray Emery had yet another solid performance stopping 26 shots.

Notes:

The Flyers have scored 12 goals in the past two games….Simon Gagne will have hernia and hip surgery tomorrow and miss approximately 6-8 weeks….Chris Pronger has registered a point in eight straight games….Danny Briere could return to practice as early as tomorrow. Briere did not suffer a groin pull per GM Paul Holmgren.

Quotes: Phila. Inquirer

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