for this game

Richards, Flyers battle past Capitals

Nov 3, 2007 - 3:14 AM
By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Philadelphia Flyers - and most notably Mike Richards - took the Washington Capitals' best punch and came back strong.

After receiving a bloody nose in a first-period fight, Richards scored a goal and R.J. Umberger added a tally and an assist as the Flyers defeated the Capitals, 3-2, on Friday.

Richards, who has a team-leading eight goals this season, tallied in his third straight game and sixth time in his last eight contests.

With the game tied at 1-1 and just over four minutes remaining in the second period, goaltender Antero Niittymaki denied Washington defenseman Milan Jurcina from inside the right faceoff circle.

Richards gained control of the puck and raced up the wing for a 2-on-1 rush. Richards elected to keep the puck and wristed a shot between netminder Olaf Kolzig's glove and body with 4:08 remaining in the session.

"I was more frustrated with my play than anything," Richards said. "(On Thursday), I didn't feel like I had a good game. The first period, I was turning pucks over. I couldn't get going. I tried to turn more the momentum around than anything."

Richards had a better result with his stick than he did with his fists, however.

The 22-year-old center got tangled up with Brooks Laich late in the first period. The fight produced a bloodied nose for Richards, who went to the locker room before returning in the second period with a bandage over the bridge of his nose.

"Yeah, that's (Richards). I've had him before - and I've had him long enough," Philadelphia coach John Stevens said. "He's the first one to be out taking all the bullets. "He's just a hard-nosed kid that has a lot of talent and plays with fire all the time."

Fifteen minutes after the game, blood still trickled from Richard's nose. "I don't look very good right now," Richards said, noting the 12 sutures he received between periods. "I'm not too attractive."

Laich won the fight, but his team lost the game.

"He swung with me and we had a little chat," Laich said. "They had a couple of guys that were trying to control the physical part of the game. We had to answer back."

Daniel Briere snapped an eight-game goalless drought to even the contest earlier in the second period.

A Capitals' turnover enabled the Flyers to gain a 3-on-2 advantage entering the offensive zone. Briere found Umberger near the left faceoff circle and converted a return pass from in front of the net to tie the game at 1-1.

The Flyers have excelled in the second period this season, scoring half of their 40 goals in the session.

Umberger gave the Flyers a two-goal cushion just 93 seconds into the third period.

With the Flyers on a four-minute power play, Umberger blasted a shot from just inside the left circle that beat a screened Kolzig to give his team a 3-1 advantage.

Alex Ovechkin halved the deficit with just over four minutes to go in the period.

After Michael Nylander won a faceoff cleanly in the offensive zone, Ovechkin sized up his shot and unleashed a blast that Niittymaki was unable to catch cleanly with his glove.

The goal was the ninth of the season for Ovechkin, who has 10 tallies and seven assists in nine career games against the Flyers.

The Capitals could not get the equalizer, however.

"It's disappointing but not discouraging. We'll fight on," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "We have to be able to score more than one goal in two periods.

"It's not even a matter of scoring, it's more of capitalizing on our chances. We had so many chances to score."

Tomas Fleischmann opened the scoring 7:29 into the first period.

Nylander gained control of the puck and wristed a shot on goal from just inside the left circle. The puck, however, deflected off Nicklas Backstrom's stick in front and landed on the tape of Fleischmann, who was camped out on the right side.

The Czech swatted the puck out of the air and into the net for his second goal of the season.

Niittymaki made 24 saves in just his second start of the season for Philadelphia, which lost all four meetings with Washington in 2006-07.

"It was really hard in the first (period)," Niittymaki said. "There was a lot of shots from the outside. I saw most of them. I think the rest of the game wasn't much harder than the first period."

Kolzig stopped 26 shots for the Capitals, who have lost eight of 10 after opening the season with three wins. He also was whistled for a tripping penalty late in the first period.

"We got in some penalty trouble, starting with my penalty," Kolzig said. "It sort of carried over the rest of the game. That might have taken some of the momentum out of our hands."

The Flyers were without defenseman Randy Jones, who completed his two-game suspension for hitting Boston's Patrice Bergeron from behind last Saturday.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 2 1 3
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - TOMAS FLEISCHMANN 2 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, MICHAEL
    NYLANDER) 7:29
    2ND PRD: PHI - DANIEL BRIERE 5 (R.J. UMBERGER, BRAYDON COBURN) 8:03
    PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 8 (JOFFREY LUPUL) 14:52
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) R.J. UMBERGER 2

    Nov 2 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    WASHINGTON 2
    3RD PRD: WAS - (PP) ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 9 (MICHAEL NYLANDER) 15:52

    Flyers vs. CapitalsNov 2 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    WASHINGTON 1
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) R.J. UMBERGER 2 (RORY FITZPATRICK, JEFF CARTER)
    1:33

    Flyers vs. CapitalsNov 2 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 2 2
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - TOMAS FLEISCHMANN 2 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, MICHAEL
    NYLANDER) 7:29
    2ND PRD: PHI - DANIEL BRIERE 5 (R.J. UMBERGER, BRAYDON COBURN) 8:03
    PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 8 (JOFFREY LUPUL) 14:52
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Nov 2 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    WASHINGTON 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 8 (JOFFREY LUPUL) 14:52

    Flyers vs. CapitalsNov 2 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    WASHINGTON 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - DANIEL BRIERE 5 (R.J. UMBERGER, BRAYDON COBURN) 8:03

    Flyers vs. CapitalsNov 2 8:20 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0
    WASHINGTON 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - TOMAS FLEISCHMANN 2 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, MICHAEL
    NYLANDER) 7:29
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 6 6
    WAS 14 14
    GOALIES: PHI - ANT

    Nov 2 7:47 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    WASHINGTON 1
    1ST PRD: WAS - TOMAS FLEISCHMANN 2 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, MICHAEL
    NYLANDER) 7:29

    Flyers vs. CapitalsNov 2 7:19 PM