Briere’s Historic Night Helps Pound Leafs 6-2

PHILADELPHIA- The Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight may be off, but it was a ‘thrilla in Phila’ last night at the Wachovia Center.

Danny Briere netted two goals, one of which was his 500th career National Hockey League point helping the Philadelphia Flyers rout the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2.

It was a night of Danny’s in South Philly, as Danny Syvret scored his second career NHL goal and the city’s new rock star Dan Carcillo netted a goal and dropped the gloves once also.

The are 5-1-1 in their last seven contests and they finally did something they haven’t done since Dec. 8. Win on home-ice.

“We didn’t play very good hockey in front of our fans just before Christmas,” said Briere. “We got our chance to regroup and get our confidence back on the road. Tonight, the way we played and the way the crowd cheered us on in the second and third period, this is a good sign.”

The Flyers special teams put this game away. The Leafs came into the game with the league’s worst penalty kill and the Flyers scored three goals in six opportunities.

“When our power play is clicking like it was [last] night, it makes them pay,” said Chris Pronger, who added three assists in the game. His first three-point game as a Flyer.

The scoring started early when Briere knocked in a rebound on the power-play at 4:11 in the first on the Flyers first shot on Jonas Gustavsson. Syvret, who scored his first carer goal at the Winter Classic took a wicked slapshot just in front of the blue line with just 21 seconds left in the first.

“It’s something we know is critical for our team,” Briere said. “Our power play started the year on fire and in the last month, it’s been OK. Lately, it seems it’s picking up again. It’s critical. So much of the games are played on special teams.

Carcillo added his fourth of the season on without a doubt his most skilled play since joining the Flyers last year at 10:13 of the second. Carcillo stopped dead on his tracks forcing Leafs’ defensemen Luke Schenn to stumble giving Carcillo all the room to beat Gustavsson low.

“I actually did that before in L.A. in my rookie year,” Carcillo remembered. “Sort of like déjà vu. “I saw Schenn going down and I just made a move to beat him and put it in.”

Coach Peter Laviolette recognizes what Carcillo brings to his club and the ingredients he brings is an important factor to the team.

“He’s been really effective and he’s stayed out of the box,” Laviolette. “He’s been in control of his game. He’s got skill, he can play physical, he’s the type of guy who wears it on his sleeve.”

After Carcillo scored his pretty highlight goal, he made his towards the Toronto bench and made the high-five gesture towards the entire bench. In his own right, Carcillo is a rock star in this town and the crowd eats it up.

Captain Mike Richards got the scoring started in the last frame with his 18th goal on the power-play goal just 82 seconds in. Richards’ goal made it 4-0.

At 4:54 of the third, Briere scored his second goal of the game recording his 500th career point. Briere added that while the accomplishment is great, the matter at hand is to continue putting wins together.

“Those are achievements that right now don’t mean much. I mean, it’s pretty cool, it’s pretty exciting,” Briere said. “But I’m sure that after the end of my career, looking back, it’s something I’m going to enjoy and cherish even more and I’ll certainly remember that goal for a long time.”

“Too bad they scored right away. It kind of killed the buzz. But for a few seconds, it was kind of cool,” said a smiling Briere regarding Nikolai Kulemin’s goal just seconds after Briere’s memorable goal.

Rookie James van Riemsdyk scored his first goal in 10 games on the man-advantage to finish off the Flyers scoring brigade to make it 6-2. Alexei Ponikarovsky scored early in the second and final goal for the Leafs early in the third.

Overall, the Flyers came out a little sluggish in the first but then got the party jumping. Coach Laviollete was most impressed with the way his team skated throughout the entire night.

“I liked our skating. I thought we were real sluggish in the first three minutes getting back into things,” Laviolette stated. We took some rest yesterday, staying off the ice, but I thought our skating was good.

“On the forecheck we seemed to be pouncing on pucks all over the place. I thought we came back hard and put pressure on the puck behind and allowed our defense to stand up.”

Goaltender Michael Leighton put up another stellar performance on his sixth consecutive start. Leighton stopped 30 of the Leafs 32 shots to help improve to a record of 5-0-1 with a 2.03 goals-against average and .932 save percentage since being claimed off waivers Dec. 5.

“He’s played well,” Laviolette said. “It should get recognized that he had to make some big saves tonight, really big saves. They were at the point, early, when the game was 0-0, 2-0 and 3-0. He came up with some big saves. Again, Michael Leighton has given us a chance to win a game.”

Tonight was a night of pure hockey excitment both on and off the ice. On the ice, the Flyers gave the orange and black faithful something to be happy about with both the scoring touch and by dropping the gloves.

Off the ice, the Flyers fans really gave it to the visiting Toronto fans. Quite a few fisticuffs were thrown down on the first level at the Wachovia Center. Great game for the home team, equally great atmosphere from the home crowd.

Hopefully, the Flyers can continue this play when they faceoff against the slumping Pittsburgh Penguins tonight from the Igloo.

4 Responses to “Briere’s Historic Night Helps Pound Leafs 6-2”
  1. Matt says:

    If nothing else, the Flyers have certainly been entertaining over the last couple weeks. Fairly or unfairly though, much of their improvements will be judged on what they do tonight against one of the best (albeit) struggling teams in the league. We all know that if the Flyers want to come out of the east, they are going to have to go through the Pens…. “to be the man, you gotta beat the man….woooooooo”

  2. Whatver matters, I loved the Ric Flair reference… bad he’s a sell-out..Wooo

    • Matt says:

      Haha yeah ur certainly right….when emery comes back, is what ive been reading true that they’ll carry 3 goalies on the roster? Either way, when emery comes back (and hopefully stays healthy) homer will have sone interesting roster choices

  3. From what I hear, Boosh could be the odd man out. But it depends because of his salary. Leighton has been way too good to ignore playing time. With Emery coming back Sat, they’ll carry three goalies for a week or so to see how things go with Emery.

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