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Colorado
Avalanche
32-45-5
Philadelphia
Flyers
44-27-11

31 SOG
24 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
COL
PHI
game recap

Flyers 5, Avalanche 2

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:24 AM

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -The Flyers are starting to get some lucky breaks, a big reason they've been so tough to beat at home.

Mike Richards and Simon Gagne each had a goal and two assists, and Philadelphia won its fifth straight game by defeating the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Tuesday night.

"We're playing with a lot of confidence right now," Richards said. "When you play with confidence, you think you can win every game. Tonight we played a little bit slower to start, but got our legs and got a couple of bounces."

Mike Knuble added a goal and an assist, and Jeff Carter and Joffrey Lupul also scored for the Flyers, unbeaten in regulation in their last 10 home games (8-0-2).

Carter is second in the NHL with 22 goals, two behind Buffalo's Thomas Vanek.

"It's a funny thing sometimes," Lupul explained. "At the start of the year we couldn't get a break to win a game. Now we're getting goals that bounce off the glass and come back and hit the goalie. It's a nice feeling. You know it's not going to last forever."

Paul Stastny and David Jones scored for the Avalanche, who had won three of four - including a 2-1 victory Monday at Detroit.

"I wish a couple of tips could have gone in, but they made some big saves," Stastny said. "But I thought we played well."

The Avalanche had beaten the Flyers five straight times. Philadelphia's previous win over Colorado was 2-1 in overtime in 2002. The Flyers hadn't won a meeting in Philadelphia since 1999, also in overtime, 5-4.

Philadelphia's Antero Niittymaki, who started in place of flu-ridden Martin Biron, stopped 29 shots for his sixth win in his last seven games.

Peter Budaj, who has started in 26 of Colorado's 31 games, made 19 saves.

Stastny, who leads the Avalanche in scoring with 27 points, put Colorado ahead with an unassisted power-play goal at 9:23 of the first period. His eighth goal came 6 seconds after Darroll Powe was called for hooking.

The Flyers responded with a power-play goal by Knuble at 11:37 and a short-handed score by Carter at 18:12 to take a 2-1 lead.

Knuble scored his 100th goal as a Flyer, poking in a shot from the crease after taking a cross-ice pass from Richards on a power play.

Carter scored on a one-timer after Simon Gagne picked up a loose puck deep in the Flyers' zone, skated in and slid a pass to Carter in front of the circle.

The Flyers extended their lead to 4-1 with a pair of bizarre goals within a span of 1:18 midway through the second period.

Lupul's shot from in close bounced off the crossbar straight down into the net at 11:24.

Richards was given credit for a goal at 12:42 when Colorado's Scott Hannan inadvertently knocked the puck past Budaj during a scramble. Richard's shot bounced off the back glass, then off the top of the net and the goalie before falling in front of Hannan.

Philadelphia coach John Stevens said that such lucky bounces are the result of hard work.

"You can go back a little bit in the beginning of the year when I thought in the first six games (all losses) we had some unfortunate bounces," Stevens explained. "It just seemed that the harder you worked, the bounces turn in your direction. They have a way of evening themselves out."

Colorado made it 4-2 when Jones deflected T.J. Hensick's shot between Niittymaki's pads with 1:21 left in the period.

Gagne deflected Kimmo Timonen's slap shot from the blue line on a power play for his 16th goal at 2:14 of the third period. Timonen, who had two assists, has six assists in his last two games.

"The Flyers are real good on the power play and penalty kill," Jones said. "I think that's where the game was won today."

Notes: Richards extended his points streak to eight games (seven goals, eight assists). ... Colorado killed off 12 straight penalties before Knuble's power-play goal. ... The Avalanche are in the midst of a four-game road trip, their second-longest of the season, with games remaining at Tampa Bay and Florida. ... The Flyers lead the NHL with 12 short-handed goals, one less than their 2007-08 total. ... The Flyers recalled G Scott Munroe from the Philadelphia Phantoms, their American Hockey League affiliate.

scoring summary
1st Period
09:23
COL
PPG - Paul Stastny (8) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
1 - 0 COL
11:37
PHI
PPG - Mike Knuble (13) Wrist shot - ASST: Mike Richards (23), Braydon Coburn (10)
1 - 1 Tie
18:12
PHI
SHG - Jeff Carter (22) Wrist shot - ASST: Simon Gagne (20), Ossi Vaananen (8)
2 - 1 PHI
2nd Period
11:24
PHI
Joffrey Lupul (10) Snap shot - ASST: Kimmo Timonen (16), Scott Hartnell (10)
3 - 1 PHI
12:42
PHI
Mike Richards (13) Wrist shot - ASST: Simon Gagne (21), Mike Knuble (9)
4 - 1 PHI
18:39
COL
David Jones (5) Tip-in - ASST: TJ Hensick (7), Adam Foote (3)
4 - 2 PHI
3rd Period
02:14
PHI
PPG - Simon Gagne (16) Tip-in - ASST: Kimmo Timonen (17), Mike Richards (24)
5 - 2 PHI
penalty summary
1st Period
09:17
PHI
Darroll Powe  Hooking against  Cody McLeod
11:01
COL
Wojtek Wolski  Holding against  Scott Hartnell
16:33
PHI
Andrew Alberts  Holding against  David Jones
2nd Period
05:58
COL
Chris Stewart  Fighting (maj) against  Arron Asham
05:58
PHI
Arron Asham  Fighting (maj) against  Chris Stewart
07:27
PHI
Simon Gagne  Hooking against  Paul Stastny
12:10
PHI
Scott Hartnell  Fighting (maj) against  Ian Laperriere
12:10
COL
Ian Laperriere  Fighting (maj) against  Scott Hartnell
13:30
COL
John-Michael Liles  Holding against  Scottie Upshall
14:45
COL
Cody McLeod  Cross checking against  Mike Richards
16:18
PHI
Jeff Carter  Hi-sticking against  Scott Hannan
3rd Period
01:26
COL
Jordan Leopold  Hooking against  Andreas Nodl
06:49
PHI
Arron Asham  Tripping against  John-Michael Liles
14:44
COL
Ryan Smyth  Hooking against  Mike Richards
goalie stats
Peter Budaj
SA: 24TOI: 59:47
Saves: 19EV: 18 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 3
SV%: .792SH: 0 - 1
Antero Niittymaki
SA: 31TOI: 59:58
Saves: 29EV: 24 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .935SH: 0 - 0