for this game

Richards, Niittymaki fuel Flyers past Maple Leafs

Jan 6, 2008 - 4:38 AM
TORONTO (Ticker) -- Mike Richards scored a power-play goal with 2:51 remaining in the third period and backup goaltender Antero Niittymaki made 54 saves as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-2, on Saturday.

With the game tied at 2-2 late in the third, Mike Knuble wristed a shot that was denied by netminder Andrew Raycroft. But Richards corralled the rebound and deposited it into the net for his 19th goal of the season.

Rather than talk about his game-winning goal, Richards elected to credit Niittymaki for his play.

"We were on our heels, and Niittymaki kept us in and won us the game," Richards said.

"It's fun to play if you face a lot of shots - it keeps you warm," Niittymaki said. "They had some chances, but I'd rather have more shots than just 15."

Rookie Steve Downie and Jeff Carter scored first-period tallies for Philadelphia, which rebounded from a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Friday to win for the fourth time in its last five games.

Captain Mats Sundin scored a pair of third-period goals for Toronto, which lost for the fifth time in its last six contests.

"We have breakdowns mentally," Sundin said. "We've been in so many close games this year with five minutes left, and we find ways to lose games. We have to change that."

With the Flyers leading, 2-0, Sundin halved the deficit on the power play with a blast from the left faceoff circle that sailed over Niittymaki's blocker.

For Sundin, it was his 542nd career tally - moving him past Hall of Famer Stan Mikita for 25th place on the all-time list.

Sundin leveled the game 7 1/2 minutes later, collecting a rebound and beating a prone Niittymaki for his 20th of the season. That tally gave Sundin his 17th consecutive 20-goal campaign, placing him third behind Gordie Howe (22) and Brendan Shanahan (18).

Downie opened the scoring with his first career goal.

After Jim Dowd won a faceoff in the offensive end, defenseman Jim Vandermeer blasted a shot that Raycroft denied. But Downie gathered the rebound and deposited it into the net at 9:56 of the first period.

The goal is definitely the high point of a tumultuous season for Downie, who was suspended 20 games by the NHL in October for delivering a hit to the head of Ottawa Senators left wing Dean McAmmond in a preseason game.

Carter doubled Philadelphia's advantage with a shorthanded tally nearly 6 1/2 minutes later.

With Toronto on the power play, R.J. Umberger stole the puck from defenseman Ian White and raced down the ice on a 2-on-1 rush. Umberger wristed a shot that Raycroft stopped, but Carter tapped the rebound into the vacant net for his 14th goal.

"I pressed (White) down in the corner and I got a piece of the puck," Umberger said. "It made it go up in the air, so when (the puck) hit him, he didn't know where it was. I was able to get it by him for a 2-on-1."

Raycroft made 29 saves for Toronto.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 2 0 1 3
    TORONTO 0 0 2 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - STEVE DOWNIE 1 (JIM VANDERMEER, JIM DOWD) 10:04
    PHI - (SH) JEFF CARTER 14 (R.J. UMBERGER) 16:28
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: TOR - (PP) MATS SUNDIN 19 (KYLE WELLWOOD, PAVEL KUBINA) 4:09
    TOR - MATS SUNDIN 20 (JASON BLA

    Jan 5 9:49 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    TORONTO 2
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE RICHARDS 19 (MIKE KNUBLE, DANIEL BRIERE)
    17:09

    Flyers vs. Maple LeafsJan 5 9:44 PM
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    Flyers vs. Maple LeafsJan 5 9:44 PM
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    Flyers vs. Maple LeafsJan 5 9:39 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    TORONTO 2
    3RD PRD: TOR - MATS SUNDIN 20 (JASON BLAKE, HAL GILL) 11:48

    Flyers vs. Maple LeafsJan 5 9:32 PM
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    Flyers vs. Maple LeafsJan 5 9:17 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    TORONTO 1
    3RD PRD: TOR - (PP) MATS SUNDIN 19 (KYLE WELLWOOD, PAVEL KUBINA) 4:09

    Flyers vs. Maple LeafsJan 5 9:14 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 2 0 2
    TORONTO 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - STEVE DOWNIE 1 (JIM VANDERMEER, JIM DOWD) 10:04
    PHI - (SH) JEFF CARTER 14 (R.J. UMBERGER) 16:28
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 11 10 2

    Jan 5 8:48 PM
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    Flyers vs. Maple LeafsJan 5 8:19 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 2 2
    TORONTO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - STEVE DOWNIE 1 (JIM VANDERMEER, JIM DOWD) 10:04
    PHI - (SH) JEFF CARTER 14 (R.J. UMBERGER) 16:28
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 11 11
    TOR 16

    Jan 5 7:54 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    TORONTO 0
    1ST PRD: PHI - (SH) JEFF CARTER 14 (R.J. UMBERGER) 16:28

    Flyers vs. Maple LeafsJan 5 7:45 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    TORONTO 0
    1ST PRD: PHI - STEVE DOWNIE 1 (JIM VANDERMEER, JIM DOWD) 10:04

    Flyers vs. Maple LeafsJan 5 7:34 PM
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    Flyers vs. Maple LeafsJan 5 8:01 AM