-- Missing two of his top forwards, Philadelphia Flyers
General Manager Paul Holmgren talked before Monday's game of other players needing to step into the scoring breech.
Six players then had multi-point games, including three-point efforts by Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, James van Riemsdyk
and Scott Hartnell
, as the Flyers blasted the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning
Richards and Carter each had a pair of goals and an assist, Hartnell had a goal and 2 assists and van Riemsdyk had 3 assists.
David Laliberte had his second goal in as many NHL games, and Ray Emery stopped 26 shots as the Flyers scored six goals for the second straight game -- both without Danny Briere
, out with a pulled leg muscle, and Simon Gagne, who will have surgery Tuesday to repair injured abdominal muscles and will miss 6-8 weeks.
"Guys go out of your lineup and you wonder where you're going to get your production from, two guys that produce a lot of offense for us," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "I think when that happens you ask the other guys to take advantage of opportunities. Laliberte two games in a row, van Riemsdyk really stepped it up, (Carter) and (Richards) got on the board tonight. Our defense really contributed some production there."
The all-around effort starts with Richards and Carter, the two centerpieces who had been fairly quiet offensively -- Carter ended a seven-game goal drought Monday, Richards a six-game skid.
"Jeff's had an awful lot of chances," Stevens said. "There's games he hasn’t scored where he's had the same opportunities, he's good defensively, he creates odd-man rushes, he uses his speed to get open, he's had a lot of chances -- and Mike also. Sometimes you run into those situations and you've got to help the team in other ways. I think they've done that, but I think it's only a matter of time before they start to produce, which they did tonight."
Richards, who scored the game's first goal when he tipped a Chris Pronger
point shot behind Mike Smith at 8:29 of the first period, said neither he nor Carter were worrying about not lighting the lamp.
"When you get the chances we've had, and the quality chances, you're more worried that you don't get anything at all," he said. "We just stuck with it. Our goals were dirty goals around the net. It's nice to see that if you keep working on it, it's going to come."
Richards helped make it 2-0 in the last minute of the first period. With the Flyers skating on the man-advantage, he fed a pass across the slot to Hartnell on the right side. His shot from the goal line hit off Tampa's Andrej Meszaros
and went past Smith at 19:15.
Carter made it 3-0 when he one-timed a van Riemsdyk pass at 3:20 of the second. Van Riemsdyk fought off Meszaros to maintain puck possession and found Carter alone in the left circle, and his shot beat Smith for his fifth of the season.
got Tampa on the board when he intercepted a Danny Syvret pass in the Philadelphia end and beat Flyers goalie Ray Emery at 5:18. The first pick of the 2008 Entry Draft now has a goal in six straight games, tying him with Vincent Lecavalier
for the second-longest streak in team history. He has 11 on the season, tying him for second in the League.
That was about the only highlight for the Lightning, which held a lengthy team-only meeting after the game.
"It stays in the room," forward Jeff Halpern said of the meeting. "You saw the game tonight, so you can imagine what it was about."
"I honestly can't think of who played good," said Lightning coach Rick Tocchet. "Usually you have a couple of individuals, but they were very light on their sticks and the Flyers were very strong. … We looked really weak out there tonight. It was a little alarming."
"When you get the chances we've had, and the quality chances, you're more worried that you don't get anything at all. We just stuck with it. Our goals were dirty goals around the net. It's nice to see that if you keep working on it, it's going to come." -- Mike Richards
Laliberte and Richards scored 35 seconds apart to push the Philadelphia lead to 5-1. Van Riemsdyk won a battle along the wall in the Tampa end, Carter took the puck, cut behind the Lightning goal and found a cutting Laliberte in front for the rookie's second goal in as many games at 6:24. Laliberte became the first Flyer to score in each of his first two NHL games since Eric Lindros, Oct. 6 and Oct. 9, 1992.
Seconds later, Claude Giroux
drew a penalty on Tampa's Lukas Krajicek. On the delayed whistle, he sent the puck to the point, where Hartnell hammered a shot on goal that Smith stopped, but Richards put in the rebound at 6:59 for his second of the game and eighth of the season.
"(Richards') goal tonight on that rebound was just spectacular, getting it to his backhand and sliding it in," said Hartnell. "You've got to have hands for that, but you've got to be in front of the net taking the punishment, too."
That ended Smith's night; he was replaced in net by former Flyer Antero Niittymaki.
Carter's second of the game, following a penalty on Tampa's Zenon Konopka, came at 8:56 of the third. Carter crashed the net to knock in the rebound of a van Riemsdyk shot for his sixth of the season. The goals snapped a seven-game goal drought for Carter, who was second in the League last season with 46 goals.
Halpern made it 6-2 when crashed the net to knock in a James Wright
pass at 14:57. The shorthanded goal was Halpern's first of the season.
-- Adam Kimelman, NHL.com