for this game

Richards, Carter help Flyers soar over Lightning

Jan 31, 2009 - 5:17 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Captain Mike Richards and All-Star Jeff Carter are proving the Philadelphia Flyers knew what they were doing at the 2003 draft.

Richards recorded two goals and an assist and Carter also scored twice as the Philadelphia Flyers stormed past the Tampa Bay Lightning, 6-1, on Friday.

With the two goals, Carter raised his season total to 32, putting him one ahead of Washington's Alex Ovechkin for the league lead.

Scott Hartnell and defenseman Randy Jones each netted a tally and set up another for the Flyers, who had won just one of their previous five road games (1-2-2).

Antero Niittymaki made 41 saves and also registered an assist for Philadelphia. One of the stops by the Finnish goaltender, who improved to 10-2-2 in his last 14 starts, came on a penalty shot by All-Star Martin St. Louis early in the third period.

"I felt pretty good," Niittymaki said. "I had a lot of work, but I was able to see most of the shots. I got lucky a couple of times, and that's all you need."

Former Flyer Vaclav Prospal scored the lone goal for the Lightning, who had two tallies disallowed en route to having their three-game home winning streak snapped.

"The score doesn't indicate, but it's a loss," said Tampa Bay's Ryan Malone, whose team had won seven of its previous nine home meetings with Philadelphia. "I give them credit. They did what they had to do to get the job done."

Entering with just one goal in his previous 12 games, Richards got things started for Philadelphia in this one. On a partial breakaway, the 24th overall pick in 2003 faked a slap shot from the slot and drifted to his left before sliding the puck around fallen goaltender Mike Smith and into the vacant net at 7:03 of the first period.

"The puck kind of followed me tonight a little bit," Richards said. "I feel I was getting the chances before. I just wasn't getting the results. I felt good (after) a couple days off for the All-Star break."

After Jones gave the Flyers a 2-1 edge during a power play just over eight minutes into the middle session, the 23-year-old Richards chased down a loose puck at the left hash marks and wristed it past Smith with 5:19 remaining to double the lead.

"A lot of it lately has been kind of my play, just turning pucks over and not moving my feet," Richards said of his recent struggles. "I felt like I lacked energy in the game. Tonight, I felt good."

Philadelphia coach John Stevens credited Richards for his impressive effort after having absorbed the blame in the media for Tuesday's loss at Florida.

"He's an up-front guy, taking all the bullets," Stevens said. "I had this feeling he would have a good game today because sometimes a players gets in that position and they're going to deflect the blame somewhere else. He always takes the blame himself and he always wants to make a difference."

Selected 13 spots before Richards in 2003, Carter made it 4-1 with a shot from the blue line that got by a screened Smith at 7:59 of the third. Hartnell tallied less than three minutes later, and the 24-year-old Carter completed his sixth two-goal performance of the season with 6:52 to go.

Picking up the puck at the blue line, Carter skated down the left side and cut toward the net to thwart an oncoming defender before gliding across the doorstep and lifting the puck past Smith.

That ended the night for the 26-year-old goalie, who made 26 saves. Riku Helenius, who was drafted 15th overall in 2006, came on and stopped both shots he faced in his NHL debut.

After Prospal forged a 1-1 tie with a man-advantage goal with 2:05 left in the first period, another former Flyer appeared to give the Lightning the lead with time winding down.

Veteran Mark Recchi saw the puck go off his left skate and past Niittymaki with 38 seconds to go in the session, but following a lengthy video review, it was ruled a distinct kicking motion was made, negating the tally.

"I didn't kick it in, and if they had (expletive) common sense, they would know it hit my feet so quick," Recchi said. "That was a big difference in the game. They made the wrong call, and if you look in fast motion, there's no way I can react to the puck. It hits my shin pad, hits the top of my foot and goes in the net. It's a terrible call on their part."

Just over five minutes into the third, St. Louis was hooked from behind by Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timonen, setting up a penalty shot. But Niittymaki got his glove on the former Hart Trophy winner's shot, keeping St. Louis scoreless on four career penalty-shot attempts.

Two minutes later, Tampa Bay thought it pulled within 3-2 as rookie Steven Stamkos batted the puck out of mid-air and past Niittymaki. But the replay officials again stymied the Lightning, ruling the 2008 first overall pick's stick was above the crossbar when he made contact with the puck.

"I'm 100 percent sure (it wasn't a high stick)," the 18-year-old Stamkos said. "Sometimes you see guys aren't sure, they look back at the referee to see if it's a goal, but I was sure. Maybe I'm wrong, but I know where it hit on my stick. I didn't hit the puck initially in the air, I hit it on the way down. It's a tough one to swallow."

The Flyers knew they were fortunate to have the calls go their way.

"We obviously got a few breaks, a couple of goals disallowed," Stevens said. "It's not often you see your team get two breaks like that, but I think we were due for some breaks."

"When the goals happened, I didn't think about them not being goals," Niittymaki said. "They were both probably tough goals. I mean, the referee was spending a lot of time with those headphones, so I'm sure they were double-checking them a couple times."






  • 15
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Flyers 6, Lightning 1  FinalJan 31 10:35 AM
  • 10
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Flyers 6, Lightning 1  FinalJan 31 9:57 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 2 3 6
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 17 (MIKE KNUBLE, SIMON GAGNE) 7:03
    TAM - (PP) VACLAV PROSPAL 13 (PAUL RANGER) 17:55
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) RANDY JONES 2 (MIKE RICHARDS, MATTHEW CARLE) 8:05
    PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 18 (JOFFREY LUPUL, RAND

    Jan 30 10:27 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 6
    TAMPA BAY 1
    3RD PRD: PHI - JEFF CARTER 32 (UNASSISTED) 13:08

    Flyers 6, Lightning 1  3rd - 6:52Jan 30 10:20 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 5
    TAMPA BAY 1
    3RD PRD: PHI - SCOTT HARTNELL 18 (UNASSISTED) 10:47

    Flyers 5, Lightning 1  3rd - 9:13Jan 30 10:09 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 4
    TAMPA BAY 1
    3RD PRD: PHI - SCOTT HARTNELL 18 (UNASSISTED) 7:59

    Flyers 4, Lightning 1  3rd - 12:01Jan 30 10:05 PM
  • Yodean is it any surprise the Lightning have another goal disallowed?

    Flyers 3, Lightning 1  3rd - 14:57Jan 30 10:02 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 2 3
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 17 (MIKE KNUBLE, SIMON GAGNE) 7:03
    TAM - (PP) VACLAV PROSPAL 13 (PAUL RANGER) 17:55
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) RANDY JONES 2 (MIKE RICHARDS, MATTHEW CARLE) 8:05
    PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 18 (JOFFRE

    Jan 30 9:27 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 18 (JOFFREY LUPUL, RANDY JONES) 14:41

    Flyers 3, Lightning 1  2nd - 5:19Jan 30 9:18 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) RANDY JONES 2 (MIKE RICHARDS, MATTHEW CARLE) 8:05

    Flyers 2, Lightning 1  2nd - 11:55Jan 30 8:57 PM
  • Yodean It appears there is some bias in toronto against the Lightning. the rules states tehre has to be a definite kicking motion with intent. there is no way Recchi intended to kick that in off of both of his skates. I have watched this vor more a couple of years (since the lockout) and it persists.....

    Flyers 1, Lightning 1  2nd - 14:49Jan 30 8:52 PM
  • Yodean It appears there is some bias in toronto against the Lightning. the rules states tehre has to be a definite kicking motion with intent. there is no way Recchi intended to kick that in off of both of his skates. I have watched this vor more a couple of years (since the lockout) and it persists.....

    Flyers 1, Lightning 1  End of 1stJan 30 8:40 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 17 (MIKE KNUBLE, SIMON GAGNE) 7:03
    TAM - (PP) VACLAV PROSPAL 13 (PAUL RANGER) 17:55
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 10 10
    TAM 16

    Jan 30 8:26 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) VACLAV PROSPAL 13 (UNASSISTED) 17:55

    Flyers 1, Lightning 1  1st - 2:05Jan 30 8:18 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    TAMPA BAY 0
    1ST PRD: PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 17 (MIKE KNUBLE) 7:03

    Flyers 1, Lightning 0  1st - 12:57Jan 30 7:52 PM