Philly offense continues its tear vs. Sens

Captain Mike Richards and the rest of the surging Philadelphia
Flyers are taking advantage of the bounces going their way.

Richards scored two goals for the second straight game, and
goalie Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots to lead the Flyers to a
5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Monday night.

Jason Spezza scored for Ottawa.

”We’re starting to get a lot of the bounces,” Richards said.
”In the beginning of the year, there was a lot of posts and pucks
just seemed to be slipping off sticks. You are going to have that
in a year, where you can’t seem to find a bounce, then you have
stretches where pucks just end up on the sticks. That’s what
happens when a team starts rolling.”

Danny Briere, Darroll Powe and Claude Giroux also scored for
Philadelphia, which is 9-0-1 in its past 10 games, and hasn’t lost
in regulation since losing a lackluster 2-1 game to Columbus on
Oct. 25, a defeat that stoked the ire of coach Peter
Laviolette.

The game was stopped for a few moments in the first period when
a young girl was struck in the head when an Ottawa pass was
deflected into the stands. She received medical attention at the
arena and was taken to a hospital for stitches. The team had no
other information.

The Flyers have played inspired hockey since that loss to the
Blue Jackets last month. They have scored 18 goals in three games,
the most in a three-game span since they scored 19 from Oct.
28-Nov. 3, 2005.

Richards is the hottest Flyer at the moment. He scored five
goals in his previous three games, including a two-goal game on
Nov. 13 against the Florida Panthers. He had just one goal in his
first 12 games.

Richards earned his 300th career point on Giroux’s goal, a
power-play tally in the second period. He partially whiffed on his
pass to Giroux in the slot, but the right wing gathered it and
fired a shot past Brian Elliott who was screened by Ville
Leino.

”I kind of muffed (the pass) and it went right on somebody’s
stick,” Richards said.

Right to Giroux, who scored his team-leading 10th goal to go
with 11 assists.

”I don’t think he was trying to do that, but you know, we’ll
take it,” Giroux said. ”It’s important to take advantage of that
and enjoy it. Hopefully, we can keep going.”

Richards scored twice in a 90-second span in the third period to
put the game away. He first scored at 6:13 on an unassisted
short-handed goal, and kept the momentum firmly on Philadelphia’s
side, beating two defenders, then faking Elliott with a
backhand-to-forehand move.

”That was a big goal,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said.
”You’re in a game, and it’s tight (3-1 at the time). You’re
thinking (that) you’re probably have to kill not only that penalty
but maybe one or two more. He pulled away, and then under
pressure-with somebody coming in from the backside of him,
(scored). A beautiful goal.”

Ottawa came into Philadelphia on a hot streak of its own – with
a 5-1-0 record in its past six games – but did little on
Monday.

”We were playing from behind pretty much the whole game, so it
changed the outlook,” Senators left wing Jarkko Ruutu said. ”I
don’t think that we were that poor. It wasn’t our best.”

Ninety seconds later, Richards took a Braydon Coburn shot off
the boards and flicked it into the net at 7:43 to cap the
scoring.

Briere opened the scoring for Philadelphia at 8:43 of the first
period, when he redirected Andrej Meszaros’ wide shot into the left
corner of the net and past Elliott, who had his personal five-game
winning streak snapped.

Briere’s ninth goal of the season leaves him tied for second on
the team with Jeff Carter, behind Giroux. The Flyers took a
season-high 46 shots.

Spezza tied the game nearly two minutes later, shooting the puck
past Bobrovsky, after it went off the skate of Flyers defenseman
Matt Carle. Spezza maintained his point-per-game average, and has
six goals and eight assists in 14 games this season.

Kimmo Timonen and Powe combined to retake the lead at 12:17 of a
penalty-less first period. Timonen’s shot from the blue line was
deflected by Powe’s stick in the air, then bounced off the ice and
over Elliott’s shoulder.

Bobrovsky stayed on a roll for the Flyers, stuffing many shots
with his quick reflexes. Laviolette stayed with his hot 22-year-old
goalie, who has started 10 straight games. Bobrovsky has 11 wins,
tying him for the league lead.

”On one hand, physically it’s a little tougher,” Bobrovsky
said. ”On the other hand, with each game, you get into the game
much faster. So I prefer to do it (play) as often as
possible.”

Notes. The Flyers likely lost left wing Dan Carcillo to a left
MCL sprain for at least two weeks, according to general manager
Paul Holmgren. He will have a MRI on Tuesday. … Andreas Nodl was
a scratch after blocking a puck with his big toe in Saturday’s
game. He will likely play on Tuesday in Montreal. … Ottawa won
three of four against the Flyers last season. … Richards has at
least one point in nine of his past 10 games.