ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) — Captain Mike Richards scored the
lone goal in the shootout after collecting three assists in
regulation as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Anaheim Ducks,
5-4, on Friday.
Martin Biron made 23 saves before denying all three shooters in
the bonus format for the Flyers, who have won back-to-back
contests and jumped into a tie atop the Atlantic Division with
the New York Rangers with 49 points.
“It’s a huge two points,” Philadelphia coach John Stevens said.
“We just go into overtime and, obviously, we wanted to push the
envelope and try to get the extra point, especially against a
Western Conference team.”
Defenseman Ossi Vaananen and Josh Gratton both netted their
first goals of the season, while blue-liner Braydon Coburn and
Mike Knuble also tallied in regulation for Philadelphia.
Corey Perry, Rob Niedermayer, rookie Andrew Ebbett and Ryan
Getzlaf scored for the Ducks, who have lost five of their last
six contests (1-3-2).
“I think this was the most intense game that we’ve played in a
while,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. “It was a good hockey
game. From our side, we’re taking a positive spin on it because
we worked hard.”
In the second round of the shootout, Richards fired a wrist shot
that beat goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, finding the top
corner of the net.
“I knew he was going to go down. I knew he was going to take
the lower part of the net away,” Richards said of the netminder.
“I just kind of waited for him to make the first move, and when
he went down, I just tried to go upstairs.”
Biron, who already had made solid saves on Perry and Bobby Ryan
in the bonus format, watched Getzlaf’s ensuing attempt go wide,
securing the win.
“I think all three of them had pretty good moves,” Biron said of
the shootout. “I think Bobby Ryan had a really good shot. He
just probably didn’t hit his spot. I think Getzlaf just fanned
Perry tied the contest at 1-1 with 35 seconds left in the first
period with his 10th goal, and the Ducks carried that momentum
into the next session. Niedermayer scored 32 seconds into the
Ebbett, who was celebrating his 26th birthday, extended the
advantage to 3-1 at 6:16 with his first career goal.
“It’s a great feeling just to get it out of the way,” Ebbett
said. “Now I don’t have to worry about that first one anymore.
It would have been nicer if it had been in a win. It’s my
birthday, too, so it’s especially nice.”
But the Flyers halved the deficit 16 seconds later on Gratton’s
goal and evened the contest with 2:19 remaining in the period,
when Coburn netted a power-play goal.
In an exciting final 2 1/2 minutes of the session, Anaheim
reclaimed the lead on Getlaf’s man-advantage goal with 74
seconds left. But Knuble tied the game at 4-4 just 14 seconds
later with his 14th tally.
“It’s good that we’re coming back, it’s bad that we’re getting
down,” Richards said. “We’re giving teams too much momentum off
the start, and they’re scoring on too many power plays. It’s
obviously something that we don’t want to do, but it’s nice to
see the resilience.”