for this game

Briere, Richards help Flyers take series lead

Apr 16, 2008 - 4:55 AM
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Daniel Briere is showing why the Philadelphia Flyers paid big money for his services. Mike Richards is showing why he will have a C on his jersey before long.

Briere scored two goals and set up another and Richards converted a penalty shot late in the third period as the Flyers seized control of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Washington Capitals with a 6-3 victory Tuesday.

Scott Hartnell, Sami Kapanen and Mike Knuble also scored and Vaclav Prospal recorded three assists for Philadelphia, which took a two-games-to-one lead in the series.

"I loved the effort of our team," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "It just seemed that we were running in waves. One line was picking up after the other. We had short shifts and great tempo."

"We're just keeping it simple," Richards said. "We're trying to get the pucks deep and get on the forecheck. We aren't doing anything spectacular or anything special. We're just chipping pucks in deep and gaining the red line."

Martin Biron made 16 saves for the Flyers, who host Game Four on Thursday.

"It's far from over," Briere said. "It's one game at a time. There is nothing done yet. I'd rather be up 2-1 than being down, but at the same time, there is lots of work to be done. We've played eight out of nine good, solid periods, so that is a good sign."

Eric Fehr, defenseman Mike Green and Brooks Laich tallied for the Capitals, who went 1-for-7 on the power play.

"It's 2-1 in a seven-game series," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It could be 3-0, but it's not. We haven't played our best hockey. Maybe we're learning as a young team what it's going to take to beat that team. Hopefully, we're learning very quickly."

"We know that Game Four is going to be a swing game," Laich added. "If they win it, we're in a deep hole, and the guys are going to realize that. We don't want to get too far down before we have to make a desperate comeback."

For the second straight game, Art Ross and Maurice Richard Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin was held without a point for Washington. Apart from the third period of Game One, the Russian superstar has been kept under control by the Flyers thus far in the series.

"You can see them getting frustrated, and Alex in particular," Boudreau said. "It's not like there are words I can say that are going to make it better. He is the best player in the world, and Philadelphia is doing a good job on him right now."

Signed to an eight-year, $52 million contract last summer, Briere failed to match his career-high scoring totals of a season ago while with the Buffalo Sabres, recording just 72 points with the Flyers after registering 95 in 2006-07. But the 30-year-old is proving his worth thus far in the playoffs.

After notching two goals and an assist in a losing effort in Game One, Briere posted identical numbers Tuesday, opening the scoring with just under four minutes to go in the first period and giving Philadelphia a 4-2 lead with his second goal of the night in the waning seconds of the middle session.

"It's all about winning," Briere said. "It's been a lot of fun, but at the same time, it's all about winning. The first (game), our line played a good game, but you couldn't enjoy it because we were down 1-0 in the series. I'll enjoy this night a lot more. I'm happy that I'm scoring goals, but I would trade all the goals for a win in the playoffs."

"He is just a little guy, but he is very strong on the puck," Prospal said. "He is a very smart hockey player. He finds holes and he makes things happen. It is great to play with a player like that."

An All-Star this season, his third in the league, Richards set up Briere's second goal before netting one of his own with 2:59 remaining in the third to restore the Flyers' two-goal lead.

Tripped from behind by Washington defenseman Shaone Morrisonn while on a breakaway, Richards was awarded a penalty shot. The 23-year-old future captain of the Flyers made good on the chance, sliding the puck between the pads of goaltender Cristobal Huet for his first career postseason goal.

"I was a little nervous, but I'm happy it went in," Richards said. "I just stuck with what worked in the past. When you're that nervous about going down on a breakaway, you want to go with what works and what got you there."

"I love his composure," Stevens said. "With the game on the line with all that pressure, he went in there like a confident guy and had a pretty good idea about what he wanted to do. That was a huge goal for our team. I just thought that he was a force all night."

Knuble sealed the victory with an empty-netter for Philadelphia, which squandered a similar 4-2 lead after two periods in Game One.

Briere gave the Flyers a 1-0 edge when he carried the puck through the right faceoff circle and beat Huet high on the short side at 16:10 of the first.

"I made a move because I was thinking of cutting inside for a second," Briere said. "Then I saw (Huet) go down and I thought that I had a little bit of room over his shoulder, and it just squeaked through."

"He's a good player and they pay him to do those things," Laich said. "He's a tricky little player. You can't take your eye off him for one second because he'll find a little hole and he'll tap one in. ... We've got to find a way to shut him down because he's putting pucks in the net."

But former Philadelphia enforcer Donald Brashear made a pass from behind the net to Fehr, who fired the puck past Biron to the stick side from the slot with 2:39 remaining to forge a tie.

Hartnell gave the Flyers the lead for good just 65 seconds later, one-timing Prospal's cross-ice pass by Huet from the right circle. Kapanen made it 3-1 only 17 seconds afterward, as Washington defenseman Milan Jurcina's pass from behind the net landed right on the stick of Jim Dowd, who fed the diminutive Finn in the slot.

"We just got scored on, and there was no time to think about it and they scored again," Huet said. "I know that it stinks, but I thought that we reacted pretty well in the second."

"I was hoping that we could come out of the period with the lead," Boudreau said. "We knew that the Flyers were going to come hard and they were going to be physical. I felt that if we could sustain the pressure, we could have gotten out of that period. I felt that 3-1 really hurt us and put us in a tough position."

Green cashed in during a power play at 7:28 of the second, waiting for Hartnell to slide by before unleashing a slap shot from the right point that beat Biron to the stick side for his third goal of the series.

But after Richards faked a slap shot from the blue line, he dished to Briere, who scored from below the left circle with 9.8 seconds remaining for a 4-2 advantage.

"Danny had a little twinkle in his eye tonight," Stevens said. "He looked like he was a player that was going to play the way we did tonight. He was a confident guy. He has really played well through these playoffs."

Laich again cut the deficit to one with 4:34 left in the third, when Morrisonn's shot from the left circle deflected off his stick and past Biron. Following a video review, the goal stood.

"It looked like it was going over the net and I got my hand up to catch the puck," Biron said. "I thought it was touched by a high stick. It was a real tough call and it could have gone either way."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 1 1 3
    PHILADELPHIA 3 1 2 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - DANIEL BRIERE 3 (VACLAV PROSPAL, BRAYDON COBURN) 16:10
    WAS - ERIC FEHR 1 (DONALD BRASHEAR, DAVID STECKEL) 17:21
    PHI - SCOTT HARTNELL 1 (VACLAV PROSPAL, DANIEL BRIERE) 18:26
    PHI - SAMI KAPANEN 1 (JIM D

    Apr 15 9:44 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL WASHINGTON 3
    PHILADELPHIA 6
    3RD PRD: PHI - (EN) MIKE KNUBLE 1 (SCOTTIE UPSHALL) 18:55

    Capitals 3, Flyers 6  3rd - 1:05Apr 15 9:42 PM
  • 20
    roots
    SuketoKetchi Added 5 roots

    Capitals 3, Flyers 4  3rd - 3:58Apr 15 9:36 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL WASHINGTON 3
    PHILADELPHIA 5
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PS) MIKE RICHARDS 1 17:01

    Capitals 3, Flyers 5  3rd - 2:59Apr 15 9:36 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL WASHINGTON 3
    PHILADELPHIA 4
    3RD PRD: WAS - BROOKS LAICH 1 (SHAONE MORRISONN, MIKE GREEN) 15:26

    Capitals 3, Flyers 4  3rd - 4:34Apr 15 9:33 PM
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    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Capitals 2, Flyers 4  End of 2ndApr 15 8:56 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 1 2
    PHILADELPHIA 3 1 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - DANIEL BRIERE 3 (VACLAV PROSPAL, BRAYDON COBURN) 16:10
    WAS - ERIC FEHR 1 (DONALD BRASHEAR, DAVID STECKEL) 17:21
    PHI - SCOTT HARTNELL 1 (VACLAV PROSPAL, DANIEL BRIERE) 18:26
    PHI - SAMI KAP

    Apr 15 8:43 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL WASHINGTON 2
    PHILADELPHIA 4
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) DANIEL BRIERE 4 (MIKE RICHARDS, VACLAV PROSPAL)
    19:50

    Capitals 2, Flyers 4  2nd - 0:10Apr 15 8:43 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL WASHINGTON 2
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    2ND PRD: WAS - (PP) MIKE GREEN 3 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, ALEX OVECHKIN) 7:28

    Capitals 2, Flyers 3  2nd - 12:32Apr 15 8:15 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 1
    PHILADELPHIA 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - DANIEL BRIERE 3 (VACLAV PROSPAL, BRAYDON COBURN) 16:10
    WAS - ERIC FEHR 1 (DONALD BRASHEAR, DAVID STECKEL) 17:21
    PHI - SCOTT HARTNELL 1 (VACLAV PROSPAL, DANIEL BRIERE) 18:26
    PHI - SAMI KAP

    Apr 15 7:45 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL WASHINGTON 1
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    1ST PRD: PHI - SAMI KAPANEN 1 (JIM DOWD) 18:43

    Capitals 1, Flyers 3  1st - 1:17Apr 15 7:43 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL WASHINGTON 1
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    1ST PRD: PHI - SCOTT HARTNELL 1 (VACLAV PROSPAL, DANIEL BRIERE) 18:26

    Capitals 1, Flyers 2  1st - 1:34Apr 15 7:42 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL WASHINGTON 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    1ST PRD: WAS - ERIC FEHR 1 (DONALD BRASHEAR, DAVID STECKEL) 17:21

    Capitals 1, Flyers 1  1st - 2:39Apr 15 7:40 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL WASHINGTON 0
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    1ST PRD: PHI - DANIEL BRIERE 3 (VACLAV PROSPAL, BRAYDON COBURN) 16:10

    Capitals 0, Flyers 1  1st - 3:50Apr 15 7:39 PM
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    mrman226 Added 5 roots

    Capitals vs. FlyersApr 15 6:44 AM
  • 5
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    Capitals vs. FlyersApr 14 12:10 PM