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Upshall helps Flyers solve Backstrom

Jan 9, 2009 - 5:26 AM
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Despite their recent offensive struggles, the Philadelphia Flyers found a way to beat All-Star Niklas Backstrom.

Scottie Upshall scored a goal and set up another as the Flyers extended their home winning streak to seven games Thursday with a 3-1 triumph over the Minnesota Wild.

Scott Hartnell and Mike Knuble also tallied for Philadelphia, which improved to 11-0-2 in its last 13 games at the Wachovia Center.

"It's nice to have confidence at home," Flyers captain Mike Richards said. "If we get behind, it's nice to see everyone keep going. Tonight, I didn't think that we had our legs, but it was encouraging to see the guys battle through it and get a win.

"To play in front of the home fans gave us energy. We were flat in the first (period), but we came out of it and the fans gave the energy coming out of the second."

Martin Biron made 27 saves for the Flyers, who have won four straight meetings with the Wild.

Stephane Veilleux scored and Backstrom stopped 20 shots for Minnesota, which fell to 2-1-0 on its four-game road trip and 10-2-1 against Eastern Conference opponents this season.

"I don't think that we played bad," Minnesota's Antti Miettinen said. "There were some things, little parts of the game that we didn't do well, like the power play. Once they got it to 2-1, we couldn't push back."

Hartnell's goal, which was set up by Upshall - just over seven minutes into the second period snapped Backstrom's shutout streak at 149 minutes, 14 seconds - a franchise record. The All-Star entered the contest having posted back-to-back shutouts over Colorado and Boston, both on the road.

"We don't care about the shutouts," Backstrom said. "That is in the past. We want to win every game, and we lost it at the end. That is the only thing that matters."

Philadelphia was spectacular while shorthanded, successfully killing all eight of Minnesota's power-play opportunities.

"I was very happy with the penalty-killers, just not happy with the penalty-takers," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "It seemed like every guy in the box was a penalty-killer, and that kind of shortens your bench even more, but I thought the guys were terrific. (The Wild) run (the power play) from the back of the net, which is different from any other team we've seen, and they do a good job with it. I thought "Chief" (assistant coach Craig Berube) gave (the penalty-killers) really good reads, and the guys' execution was terrific."

"We've kind of struggled lately on the penalty kill," Hartnell added. "It's a big confidence-booster, for sure, for the six or seven guys who kill for us."

Biron was especially pleased with his team's success while down a skater, while Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire felt entirely different about his club's power-play unit.

"I'm sure glad penalty-killing was a big boost for us," he said. "It made the difference."

"You can't have (eight) power plays and don't barely get a couple of chances to score," Lemaire said. "You can't win games like that. It's impossible."

Hartnell, who was called for three minor penalties, was not happy with the referees afterward.

"It seemed like everything we did, (the Wild) were either falling down and getting the calls, or we were just trying to give a guy an extra shot," he said. "It seemed like (the officials) were calling it on us all night."

The Flyers, who managed just one goal in each of their previous two games, fell behind in this one as Veilleux received a pass from behind the net by rookie Cal Clutterbuck and beat Biron from the doorstep with 7:49 remaining in the first period.

But it was all Philadelphia after that as Hartnell converted a cross-crease pass from alone on the right side of the net at 7:10 of the middle session to forge a 1-1 tie and extend the left wing's home points streak to seven games.

Knuble put the Flyers ahead for good during a power play 5:10 into the third, when Richards' shot from above the right faceoff circle deflected off the right wing and trickled toward the goal line before Backstrom inadvertently nudged it in.

"The shot was tipped in front of me and they crashed the net," Backstrom said. "That's hockey nowadays. Every team crashes the net."

"We were waiting around all game killing penalties, waiting for our chance," Upshall said. "Richie made a great play and Mike was our big body in front of the net. Gags (Simon Gagne) was there to make sure any rebounds went in the net. They didn't give us much, but we took advantage of our opportunities."

The tally was Knuble's 200th career point as a Flyer.

Upshall gave Philadelphia some breathing room with 7:42 remaining, leading a 2-on-1 rush down the right wing and beating Backstrom to the glove side with a wrist shot from the faceoff circle. It capped the second multi-point performance of the season for Upshall, who had not tallied since December 11.

"I happened to knock down a pass from (Minnesota's Andrew) Brunette and I chipped it by their defenseman," Upshall said. "It was a mad dash to the net from there. I felt like I had a pretty good angle to shoot. It looked like I had the glove side open. It was a good shot and I placed it well."






  • 20
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Wild 1, Flyers 3  FinalJan 8 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 0 0 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 6 (CAL CLUTTERBUCK, KIM JOHNSSON)
    12:11
    2ND PRD: PHI - SCOTT HARTNELL 16 (ANDREW ALBERTS, SCOTTIE UPSHALL)
    7:10
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE KNUBLE 15 (MIKE RICHARDS, KIMMO TIMONEN)
    5:10
    PHI - S

    Jan 8 9:26 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Wild 1, Flyers 3  3rd - 7:42Jan 8 9:12 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    3RD PRD: PHI - SCOTTIE UPSHALL 6 (UNASSISTED) 12:18

    Wild 1, Flyers 3  3rd - 7:42Jan 8 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE KNUBLE 15 (MIKE RICHARDS, KIMMO TIMONEN) 5:10

    Wild 1, Flyers 2  3rd - 14:50Jan 8 8:59 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 0 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 6 (CAL CLUTTERBUCK, KIM JOHNSSON)
    12:11
    2ND PRD: PHI - SCOTT HARTNELL 16 (ANDREW ALBERTS, SCOTTIE UPSHALL)
    7:10
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MI

    Jan 8 8:33 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - SCOTT HARTNELL 16 (ANDREW ALBERTS, SCOTTIE UPSHALL)
    7:10

    Wild 1, Flyers 1  2nd - 12:50Jan 8 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 6 (CAL CLUTTERBUCK, KIM JOHNSSON)
    12:11
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 7 7
    PHI 7 7
    GOALIES: MIN - NIKLAS B

    Jan 8 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    1ST PRD: MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 6 (CAL CLUTTERBUCK, KIM JOHNSSON)
    12:11

    Wild 1, Flyers 0  1st - 7:49Jan 8 7:29 PM
  • 5
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    davipilo Added 5 roots

    Wild vs. FlyersJan 8 8:27 AM