Richards, Giroux Carry Flyers Over Panthers 5-2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Mike Richards and Claude Giroux scored two goals apiece and rookie Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves in the surging Philadelphia Flyers’ 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
Scott Hartnell also scored for the Atlantic Division leading Flyers, who are 8-0-1 in their last nine games and have scored 13 goals in their previous two.
Cory Stillman and Mike Santorelli scored for Florida.
Before the game, the Flyers agreed to a long-term contract extension with center Jeff Carter, a deal widely reported to be for 11 years and $58 million. Carter joined teammates Richards, Giroux, Danny Briere and Chris Pronger, who have signed long deals with the Flyers.
Richards, sparked one the Philadelphia offense at 12:14 in the first period. Taking a feed from Andreas Nodl, Richards split two defenders and fired a shot past goalie Scott Clemmensen’s stick side.
Richards hadn’t scored in 19 career games against Florida, which had been the only Eastern Conference team to hold him without a goal.
Hartnell gave the Flyers a 2-0 lead at 15:38, tipping a cross-ice pass from Ville Leino into a corner of the net. Leino had two assists, giving him 11 points in 12 games.
The Flyers peppered Clemmensen in the second period. Richards began that surge, too, scoring 15 seconds into a Philadelphia power play. His one-timer from inside the circle went in after defecting off the left crossbar.
Giroux reclaim the team lead with his eighth and ninth goals, completing the Flyers’ season-high, 42-shot attack. The 22-year-old forward, who last week signed a three-year, $11.25 million contract, punched in his first of the night at 8:33 of the second. He tipped in his own rebound amid a scramble in front.
Giroux needed no help on his second goal, when he blocked a shot from Bryan Allen, recovered the loose puck, then beat Clemmensen to the glove side with a forehand-to-backhand deke.
Clemmensen made 37 saves.
The 22-year-old Bobrovsky, who has quickly won over fans with his sterling play, was also credited with his first NHL assist on Richards’ first goal.
Stillman scored first for the Panthers, deflecting Keaton Ellerby’s shot with a his stick, and the puck soared over Bobrovsky’s shoulder. Santorelli completed the scoring, placing a wrist shot past Bobrovsky in the closing minutes.
Notes: Florida won three of four from the Flyers last season. … Richards needs one point to reach 300 for his career. … Florida forward Steve Bernier, injured Friday when he took a stick to the face at the end of Friday’s game against Minnesota, didn’t play on Saturday.
(© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)