Flyers End Skid, Beat Isles 2-1

The Philadelphia Flyers were beaten and tired headed into the final game of their road trip. Back on the east coast, the Flyers had to beat the New York Islanders. It wasn’t the prettiest win of the season; however, it was hard-fought and a much-needed one for this Philadelphia club who had lost three-straight.

Captain Mike Richards stepped up for his team when they needed him most. Richards was paired with fellow leader Jeff Carter in efforts to finally get this team over the hump and end this road trip on a high note.

They both gave nothing less, providing the extra boost to beat the Islanders 2-1 in Uniondale, NY.

“It was Mike Richards who got us going,” Flyers coach John Stevens said. “I almost feel like he willed this team to win tonight. I know he was tired and we expected big minutes out of him. Both he and Jeff Carter seemed like they found energy they didn’t have.”

Richards rifled a power-play goal with just 34 seconds to go in the second period to nod things up at 1-1.

“Him (Richards) and Jeff are obviously our best guys up front,” said Chris Pronger. “We need those guys going every night. Tonight, they took charge of the game.”

Not to forget his performance, Brian Boucher kept this Flyers team in the game the first two periods while they tried to find their legs. Boucher made save after clutch save to prevent the Islanders from scoring four or five goals. He had 28 saves in all earning his second win of this trip.

Jeff Carter had an amazing backhand pass to set up Scott Hartnell for the go-ahead goal at 14:33 in the third. The puck glazed an Islander stick and floated over the right shoulder of goalie Martin Biron.

“He slid his backhand and when it was coming, it was like slow motion,” Hartnell said. “I just wanted to get a quick shot off and I think it hit off someone’s stick and went in. We’ll take it. It’s a big two points for us.”

The Flyers only gave up one Islander shot in the third. Pronger and the entire defensive core really buckled down to prevent New York from having a chance to come back.

“It was a matter of us taking over the game in the third,” defenseman Chris Pronger said. “We did a good job of finally get pucks in deep and creating a cycle and getting pucks on net.”

Trent Hunter scored the only Islander goal in the first.

Philadelphia, with the win prevented themselves from falling to fourth place in the division. Now they return home where they will have a much-needed Thanksgiving day off to rest. They will be right back at on black Friday at the Wachovia Center when they faceoff against the Buffalo Sabres.

“Guys were sacrificing their bodies and putting them in front of pucks and when they were coming on net, Boucher was saving them,” Hartnell said. “It was a big game all-around by everybody.”

Notes:

Danny Briere will serve the second of his two-game suspension when the Flyers host the Sabres Friday……Mike Richards’ goal was his 10th but only his second on 10 games.

Quotes: Flyers

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