NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Vancouver
(Wednesday, October 10th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 8, Vancouver 2
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Mike Richards recorded his first-career four point night, scoring twice and adding two assists, as the Philadelphia Flyers rode a four-goal first period en route to an 8-2 blowout win over the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place.
Daniel Briere had a goal and two assists for the Flyers, who completed their three-game season-opening Western Canadian road trip at 2-1-0.
Simon Gagne, Joffrey Lupul and R.J. Umberger added a goal and helper each, while Jeff Carter and Mike Knuble also lit the lamp. Martin Biron made 25 saves in the victory.
"We came out strong," Richards said. "I think the couple of days off helped us re-energize a bit. We just kept it simple off the get go. They turned some pucks over and we made them pay."
The Flyers have not lost to the Canucks in Vancouver since January 17, 1989, when the club played in the old Pacific Coliseum, a span of 13 games (9-0-4).
Ryan Shannon and Lukas Krajicek scored for the Canucks, who have dropped two of three to start the year. Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin added two assists each in the loss.
Starting netminder Roberto Luongo had an uncharacteristically poor night in net, allowing four first-period goals on 13 shots before Curtis Sanford took over. Sanford allowed four goals on 17 shots in relief.
"Well, cause of concern right now, is the way we're starting our games," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "You know obviously 5-on-5 right now we're not where we need to be to have success, and we have perfect indication of that tonight."
With the Flyers ahead by five, a sedate third period was shattered when Canucks forward Ryan Kesler was leveled on a cross-check to the head by Flyers forward Jesse Boulerice with 8:21 remaining. Boulerice was assessed a five-minute major and match penalty for intent-to-injure and Kesler went to the locker room for evaluation.
"Honestly, it was a dirty hit," Luongo said. "He crosschecked him right in the face, that's it."
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen was whistled for a delay-of-game call about halfway through the Canucks' five-minute power-play, but Richards cashed in on a two-man disadvantage breakaway goal for an 8-2 game with 5:41 to go.
"When you get to score a three against five goal it pretty much shows the kind of night it was for them," Briere said. "So it's good for us. We got some breaks, but we've got to realize it's not going to be like that every night."
Richards has scored the Flyers' last two goals while down two men, the previous one coming October 22, 2005 at Toronto.
After the Flyers killed off a Canuck power play, they took a 1-0 lead when Carter tucked home the rebound of Randy Jones' point shot at 8:48 of the first.
Only 13 seconds later it was 2-0 when Umberger finished off a rush by redirecting a Richards cross-ice pass from the left side.
Shannon made it 2-1 at 10:13 on a power play, when he slammed home Daniel Sedin's behind-the-back pass through the crease past Biron at the left post.
Philly took a 3-1 lead with 6:49 to play in the period on their next man- advantage when Briere threaded the needle from the left circle to the right post for an easy tap-in by Gagne.
Briere added his fourth of the season at 16:17 when he roofed a backhander inside the right post after getting back his initial blocked pass to Gagne.
Lupul continued the onslaught with a right-circle wrister at 1:24 of the second for a 5-1 Flyers advantage. It was the young winger's first goal with Philadelphia.
Krajicek cut the deficit to 5-2 with a power-play slap shot exactly two minutes later, but Knuble restored the four-goal edge with 9:38 to play in the second on a Flyers power play when he tipped home Timonen's point shot directly in front of Sanford.
Philly went ahead 7-2 with a little more than three minutes remaining when Briere emerged from a scrum along the goal line with the puck, fired to the right post and found Richards alone for another easy score.
The four-goal opening was the most goals the Flyers have scored since hitting the net five times against Detroit in the third period of a 6-1 win on February 12...Philly had not scored eight goals in a game since an 8-1 win over the Washington Capitals on November 3, 2005...They had not scored eight goals in a road game since an 8-0 win at Vancouver on December 31, 1997...Briere is the first player in franchise history to record multi-point games in his first three contests as a Flyer...Umberger missed the first two games with a broken pinkie finger...The teams had not met since December 15, 2005 in Philadelphia, and had not faced each other in Vancouver since December 31, 2001...Philly hosts the Islanders in its home-opener on Saturday, while Vancouver heads to Edmonton on Friday.
10/11 02:22:40 ET