Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers
 

Richards Front and Center in Game 5 Clincher

Tuesday, 05.25.2010 / 12:20 PM / News
By Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


Richards Front and Center in Game 5 Clincher
Mike Richards told it like it was after the Flyers’ loss in Game 3 and in Game 5 Monday, he stood front and center with a key performance.<\/font>
(Philadelphia, PA) - It was only four days ago Mike Richards said his team got a good whipping from the Montreal Canadiens.

Sparked by his harsh synopsis, the Philadelphia Flyers were a different team in Game 5 and as a result are going to the Stanley Cup Final.

FlyersTV: The Shift | HIstory Will Be Made

"He's our captain, our leader, we gave him a long-term contract, we love him, we know what he can do and, in a game like this, he showed what he could do," Flyers Chairman Ed Snider told NHL.com.
Philadelphia Flyers captain Mike Richards poses with the NHL hockey Eastern Conference trophy after beating the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5, Monday, May 24, 2010, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 4-2 and took the series 4-1. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

At the end of his 36-shift performance in Game 5, Richards posed for a picture with the Prince of Wales Trophy presented to him by Deputy NHL Commissioner Bill Daly following the Flyers' series-clinching, 4-2 Game 5 triumph over the Canadiens.

He then defied superstition, grabbed the trophy and skated off to the dressing room.

"It was actually a little bit of a debate on the ice," Richards said. "I don't know if you'd seen, but I thought a little about it last night, and my first instinct was to grab it. Obviously, it took us a lot to get here, and (it's) not the trophy that we want, but we haven't done anything conventional all year, especially in these playoffs. So might as well go against the grain one more time."

"Was I happy Richie grabbed the trophy?" asked Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn. "Absolutely. I would have done the same thing."

With the Flyers trailing by a goal in the first period Monday night, Richards set the tone before a boisterous home crowd.

Richards rewarded them when he pulled the Flyers into a 1-1 tie on Philadelphia's first shorthanded goal of the playoffs 4:25 into the first. It set the tone for the game and sparked a string of three unanswered goals.

With defenseman Kimmo Timonen off for roughing, Claude Giroux cleared the zone, but Richards pursued the puck as it floated into the Montreal zone. Canadiens defenseman Roman Hamrlik was slow to the puck, forcing goalie Jaroslav Halak to come charging out to try to make a play.

All three players reached the puck simultaneously at the top of the right circle and collided. The puck bounced away and trickled closer to the goal before Richards regained his footing, corralled the puck and deposited it into the net for his first point in three games and sixth goal of the playoffs.

Richards admitted he was preparing to head off the ice on a line change at the time of his shorthanded goal.

"I was going to go off, and then the puck just took a soft bounce and I thought I could get there," he said. "I’d seen Halak kind of hesitate a little bit to come out. I just tried to poke it by him, got up, and the puck was actually just sitting there ready for him to take. So I just wanted to avoid the goalie stick that was laying there and I just put it in."

"We came out flat and if he doesn't do a play like that … it got the guys fired up and it was at the end of a PK," said Giroux, who played another inspired game. "He went down and drove on the puck and got an open net, so it was huge."

Flyers forward Ian Laperriere, who was no slouch himself in his second game back from a brain contusion, felt Richards' performance ignited the entire building.
 
"He's an unbelievable hockey player," Laperriere said. "You got good hockey players and players with leadership in them and Ritchie's got it. It's not something you can work on in the summer. It's something you have, and Ritchie's got it."

Richards logged 22:49 minutes, including 4:08 on the penalty-kill, took six shots and notched three points and a plus-3 rating.

Richards also played a part on the eventual game-winning goal by Jeff Carter when he found Carter with a one-touch pass from behind the net at the 4:31 mark of the second. Carter finished for a 3-1 Flyers advantage. The goal came just 1:24 after Arron Asham had connected to give the home team their first lead of the game.

The win marked the first time in the series that the team scoring first would lose the game. Richards notched his third point of the game on Carter's second goal of the contest, into an empty net with 22.1 seconds remaining.

It was another tremendous effort -- with Halak pulled for an extra attacker, Richards battled the puck away from Tomas Plekanec at the side of the cage before backhanding a pass to Carter for the goal that sent the Flyers' fans into a state of euphoria.

Now, it's on to Chicago to face the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final.

"I don't consider us underdogs; I know what this group is capable of, and how they're capable of playing," Richards said. "Our year wasn't the same as theirs with the whirlwind and the ups and downs and the roller coaster that we went on this year.

But we have similar teams, a lot of depth, good defense, goaltending that we trust. If you look on paper, I think it's a similar lineup on both sides."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2014 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.