for this game

Carter leads Flyers to eighth straight home win

Jan 11, 2009 - 4:55 AM
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Home ice has been very kind to the Philadelphia Flyers of late. The road has not been as pleasant for the Toronto Maple Leafs recently.

All-Star Jeff Carter snapped a tie six minutes into the third period and scored his league-leading 29th goal into an empty net as the Flyers extended their home winning streak to eight games Saturday with a 4-1 triumph over the Maple Leafs.

Captain Mike Richards and defenseman Andrew Alberts also scored for the Flyers, who improved to 12-0-2 in their last 14 contests at the Wachovia Center.

"We struggled at home for a period of time last year, and then we got it going at the end," Philadelphia coach John Stevens said. "I think our guys love coming to play at home. I don't think that was our sharpest game tonight, but I thought the crowd was effective. They got behind us and gave us the energy we needed."

"We're playing well, it seems like," Richards added. "We feed off the crowd's energy. We find ways to win. Tonight, I didn't think we played our best hockey, but it's nice to see us get out another win."

Martin Biron made 41 saves and also notched an assist for Philadelphia, which is 4-0-2 in its last six overall.

"We try to play the same style (everywhere)," Biron said. "We try to be as aggressive and do certain things in the game. We've been feeling comfortable (at home). We've been playing great on the road, too. There's no difference right now in our play at home or on the road. It's been consistent, and that's the key for us."

Alexei Ponikarovsky netted the lone goal for the Maple Leafs, who have lost four straight on the road.

"I thought we played very well," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. "The difference in the game was their goalie. Their goalie played great and made a lot of saves, and we couldn't find a way to crack him."

Unbeaten in regulation in the City of Brotherly Love since dropping a 2-1 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning on November 8, the Flyers - who entered with the league's second-best power play - opened the scoring during a man advantage less than seven minutes into the contest.

Attempting to clear his own zone, Toronto rookie defenseman Luke Schenn shot the puck right at Simon Gagne, who gloved it out of the air. From the left faceoff circle, Gagne passed to Richards, who beat goaltender Vesa Toskala from near the right goalpost at 6:41 for his 16th tally of the season and a 1-0 lead.

"They're coming in here trying to shut the power play down and trying to stay out of the box," Richards said. "You capitalize on your chances, it's just a big confidence boost."

Following a scoreless second session in which Toskala stopped Richards on a breakaway and Gagne on the rebound chance, the Maple Leafs pulled even.

Just 41 seconds into the period, Matt Stajan grabbed a loose puck in the right circle and dished it to the doorstep, where Ponikarovsky backhanded it into a vacant net for his 14th goal.

"We agree on putting the puck to the net and just go there," Ponikarovsky said. "Not anybody can play defense when we are getting the shot and people are just driving the net. So it's really hard for them to kind of keep (the puck) away from the net. It's going to be a penalty or you get a rebound. I just happened to find the net."

It was the first tally allowed by Philadelphia in the third period in its last seven games.

The Flyers struck during another power play to move ahead for good.

After receiving a pass from defenseman Kimmo Timonen at Toronto's blue line, Carter skated in on a breakaway from the right side and cut across the doorstep before burying a backhander at 5:59 for a 2-1 edge.

"He's a good goalie," Carter said. "I had a lot of speed coming down the wall. Usually when you have a lot of speed, you can make a quick move and kind of catch him. I just got lucky and was able to take advantage of the situation."

The Flyers went 2-for-4 with the man advantage and own the best power play at home, converting 33-of-89 opportunities for a 37.1 percent success rate.

"I'm not sure why it's better here than on the road," said Stevens, whose team ranks 25th with the extra skater away from home. "Maybe just because teams are better at home than they are on the road? I'm not sure. We do have confidence on the power play at home. We've got two units, so nobody is overtired when they're out there. We've got four defensemen that play. I think our special teams have been terrific."

Alberts created breathing room with 8:59 remaining, ending a 163-game goalless drought with a wrist shot from the left circle.

"I had the puck on the wall and I opened up (space by) kind of showing a pass the whole way," said Scottie Upshall, who recorded the primary assist on the play. "I thought the lane to Alberts was open there, and as I got deeper into the zone, it really opened up, so it was a no-brain pass."

It was the blue-liner's first tally since March 12, 2006 against Buffalo while with Boston.

"It was shorthanded, off a pass from Glen Murray, and actually it was on Marty (Biron)," Alberts said. "Kind of ironic. I joke with him every now and again, but it's nice to finally get (another goal). The guys were kind of hassling me in the locker room, so it's good to get it over with."

"It's not like he hasn't had his chances," Upshall said. "That's just bad breaks, pucks hitting posts, goalies making good saves."

Carter, who had been tied with fellow All-Stars Alex Ovechkin of Washington and Thomas Vanek of Buffalo for the league lead in goals, capped the scoring with 1:48 to go.

Toskala stopped 26 shots for the Maple Leafs, who have dropped three in a row overall.

"We had a lot of shots, but we just couldn't put the puck in the net," Toskala said. "They got some good chances and I was able to make good saves and keep us in the game. We got stronger in the second (period), but we just couldn't score."






  • 15
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Maple Leafs 1, Flyers 4  FinalJan 12 12:35 AM
  • 10
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Maple Leafs 1, Flyers 4  FinalJan 10 11:42 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 0 1 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 3 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE RICHARDS 16 (SIMON GAGNE) 6:41
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: TOR - ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 14 (MATT STAJAN, NIK ANTROPOV)
    0:41
    PHI - (SH) JEFF CARTER 28 (KIMMO TIMONEN, MARTIN BIRON) 5:39
    PHI - ANDREW ALBERTS 1

    Jan 10 9:44 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    PHILADELPHIA 4
    3RD PRD: PHI - (EN) JEFF CARTER 29 (UNASSISTED) 18:12

    Maple Leafs 1, Flyers 4  3rd - 1:48Jan 10 9:43 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    3RD PRD: PHI - ANDREW ALBERTS 1 (SCOTTIE UPSHALL, ARRON ASHAM) 11:01

    Maple Leafs 1, Flyers 3  3rd - 8:59Jan 10 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    3RD PRD: PHI - (SH) JEFF CARTER 28 (KIMMO TIMONEN, MARTIN BIRON) 5:39

    Maple Leafs 1, Flyers 2  3rd - 14:21Jan 10 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    3RD PRD: TOR - ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 14 (MATT STAJAN, NIK ANTROPOV) 0:41

    Maple Leafs 1, Flyers 1  3rd - 19:19Jan 10 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 0 0
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE RICHARDS 16 (SIMON GAGNE) 6:41
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TOR 11 18 29
    PHI 12 11 23
    GOALIES: TOR - VESA TOSKALA

    Jan 10 8:48 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 0
    PHILADELPHIA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE RICHARDS 16 (SIMON GAGNE) 6:41
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TOR 11 11
    PHI 12 12
    GOALIES: TOR - VESA TOSKALA
    PHI - MARTIN

    Jan 10 7:56 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    1ST PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE RICHARDS 16 (SIMON GAGNE) 6:41

    Maple Leafs 0, Flyers 1  1st - 13:19Jan 10 7:33 PM