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Richards Scores Twice in Loss to Penguins

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Moncton, New Brunswick -- The newly formed line of Kyle Calder, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards combined for seven points on the night, but the Flyers allowed a pair of third period goals to Sidney Crosby and Colby Armstrong to lose their preseason opener at Moncton Coliseum, 5-4.

With Philadelphia down 2-0 late in the first, Carter scored the first goal of the preseason with just over four minutes left in the period.

Pittsburgh got its two-goal lead back in the second period at 6:19, when Sergei Gonchar tallied his second goal of the night. The Flyers responded, though, with a score by newcomer Mark Cullen and a goal by Richards to knot the game at 3-3 at the second intermission.

"We just kept it simple. We didn't do anything out of the blue, we just kind of got the puck and tried to capitalize on our chances, and we did," said Richards. "We compliment each other pretty well on the ice so we feel pretty comfortable right now."

The Flyers took their first lead of the game on Richards' second goal of the night, this one coming shorthanded at 3:54 of the third period, but the lead would not last as the Penguins won their first preseason game of the year following a loss Tuesday night to Ottawa.

Still, Ken Hitchcock was pleased with the effort from his team.

"We dug ourselves a hole and then came all the way back and actually had the lead for a little while. There were a lot of good things," he said. "Games like this, you get real good evaluations. The first game out fo the box, you've got to be pretty impressed."

Robert Esche played two periods in goal for Philadelphia before Martin Houle replaced him at the start of the third.

Calder ended the night with three assists.

The biggest storyline of the game from Pittsburgh's standpoint was the injury to rookie Evgeni Malkin, who made his debut with the club after coming over from Russia. Malkin got tied up with former Flyer John LeClair in the second period and went into the boards before eventually being helped off of the ice with what appeared to be a potentially serious injury. Mark Recchi also was hurt for the Penguins and did not finish the game.

Philadelphia returns home for two preseason games at the Wachovia Center on Thursday night against New Jersey (7:00 p.m., CSN) and Saturday night against Ottawa (7:00 p.m.).
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