(Philadelphia, PA, February 12) – The Philadelphia Flyers scored five unanswered goals in the third period to handily defeat the Detroit Red Wings at the Wachovia Center on Monday night, 6-1.
Strong special teams play led to the Flyers breaking what was a 1-1 game after the second period.
First, the Flyers were awarded an extended power play after Mathieu Schneider was given a four-minute penalty for high-sticking Derian Hatcher. Nicklas Kronvall's hooking penalty shortly after that gave Philadelphia a full two minute two-man advantage.
An early whistle by the referee negated what should have been a goal by Joni Pitkanen, but the Flyers scored anyway when Peter Forsberg found the rebound of a shot from the high slot by Simon Gagne at 4:20 of the third period to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead.
A hooking call to Mike Knuble gave Detroit a power play shortly after the Forsberg goal, but R.J. Umberger tallied the Flyers' second shorthanded score of the game when he skated around all-world defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and beat goaltender Joey MacDonald inside the near post at 7:08.
Simon Gagne's fifth goal in the last three games gave the Flyers a three-goal cushion, when he took a pass from the corner from Forsberg and backhanded the puck inside the far post midway through the frame.
Umberger's second of the game and 11th of the season on a beautiful backhanded, no-look pass from Kyle Calder made it 5-1, while Todd Fedoruk's breakaway goal after he stepped out of the penalty box capped the scoring.
"This is kind of what we have been pushing for. We want to play hard hockey. We want to be the Philadelphia Flyers," said Stevens. "When we have the puck we want to keep it, but we have to be hard with it. We want to be aggressive and not have to get it back. It's something that we are trying to get in place here."
"It [feels] really good, I can tell you that," said Forsberg. "We know where we are in the standings and we are not feeling good about the season, but lately we have been playing better and playing with more confidence."
Goaltender Michael Leighton won his second consecutive game in net with 31 saves. Leighton won his Flyers debut on Saturday in a 4-3 home win over St. Louis.
"He certainly played well," said Stevens. "I thought he looked much more confident tonight then he did the first night. He made some key saves in the hockey game that really gave us energy."
"We are competing hard every game. We are trying to play 60 hard minutes and our best players are being our best players," said Umberger. "We are getting good goaltending al- around and it is more of a complete team these last three weeks."
Philadelphia, which was winless in its previous 13 home games, won its second straight at the Wachovia Center.
The Flyers finished the game 1-for-7 on the power play and killed off seven of eight Red Wings power plays to go along with the two shorthanded goals.
The teams traded first period goals. Tomas Holmstrom tallied on the power play to open the scoring, but Mike Richards forced a turnover at the Flyers' blue line and got the rebound of a Sami Kapanen breakaway to tie the score.
Richards' goal came with defenseman Denis Gauthier in the penalty box, as Gauthier was given a four-minute roughing penalty for jumping Detroit defenseman Andreas Lilja
after Lilja drove Gagne into the boards from behind.
"When a team cares about one another those are the things that happen. I thought it was great that Gauthier stood up for his teammate," said Stevens.
The Flyers host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday at the Wachovia Center (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, 610 WIP).FLYERS NOTES
Former Flyers captain Keith Primeau was honored by the club prior to the game. … Hatcher was a game-high +4 on the night. … Forsberg played in his 100th game as a Flyer. … Mike York and Robert Esche were scratched for Philadelphia. … Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek was out with a wrist injury.