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Flyers spoil debut for new Flames

by Brian Compton
This wasn't what Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter envisioned when he pulled the trigger on Sunday's seven-player deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

With the team's newest members -- Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Ian White and Jamal Mayers -- in the lineup, the Flames mustered only 18 shots on goal and dropped a 3-0 decision against the Philadelphia Flyers at a shell-shocked Pengrowth Saddledome on Monday night.

Sutter acquired the foursome from Toronto in exchange for defenseman Dion Phaneuf, forward Fredrik Sjostrom and prospect Keith Aulie.

"We didn't muster enough offense, didn't have enough shots on net and they capitalized on some chances," Stajan said. "We've just got to be better prepared, that's the bottom line."

Mike Richards scored twice for the Flyers and Ray Emery notched his third shutout of the season. He faced only three shots in the second period as Philadelphia (28-23-3) won the first of three straight road games against Northwest Division teams. The Flyers will look for their 10th win in 14 games when they play in Edmonton on Wednesday.

Peter Laviolette's club also moved into sixth place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Florida and the New York Rangers.

"We knew we had to play for 60 minutes, which is something we've gotten away from a little bit the last couple games. That was probably our best 60-minute effort in quite a few games," Laviolette said.

Richards gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead at 10:15 of the second, when Simon Gagne swatted the puck out of the air and off Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. Richards received the fortunate bounce and fired a shot past Miikka Kiprusoff.

"We had a lot of guys here tonight that didn't play well," Flames coach Brent Sutter said. "I don't think the emotion level was where it needed to be. We were tentative on pucks. We played a bad game."

The Flyers doubled their lead just 1:49 into the third following a turnover by Flames captain Jarome Iginla. Claude Giroux was sent in alone on a nice feed from Arron Asham and beat Kiprusoff via the backhand for his 12th goal of the season.

Richards added his 22nd of the season on a power play at 17:44.

"We knew they were going to come out hard, and instead of wading into the game and seeing what they were going to do, we came out and initiated," Richards said. "We played well all the way through. We played well defensively, we did a lot of good things offensively and clogged up the neutral zone as much as we could."

Calgary's best scoring chance came while shorthanded in the first and Emery didn't even need to make a save. Flames defenseman Adam Pardy joined the rush and took a pass from Curtis Glencross but fired wide on Emery.

"That's the first time in a while where I think we played a full 60 minutes," Flyers forward Blair Betts said. "We didn't give up too many opportunities and when we did, our goaltender was there to bail us out."

Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.
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