NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Philadelphia
(Wednesday, February 8th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 5, NY Islanders 2
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Mike Richards registered his first career hat trick to lead the Philadelphia Flyers past the New York Islanders, 5-2, at the Wachovia Center.
Jeff Carter and R.J. Umberger tallied a goal and an assist each and Robert Esche made 20 saves for Philadelphia, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
"It's exciting," Richards said. "You don't really know how to feel. But to hear the crowd and see the hats, you just try to enjoy the moment a little bit. When it's at the end of the game and you know you won, you can enjoy it a little more."
Trent Hunter and Miroslav Satan scored the Islanders goals and Garth Snow stopped 22 shots for New York, which has lost three of its last four contests.
Philadelphia drew first blood 3:09 into the game while shorthanded. Turner Stevenson threw a shot on goal from the slot that pinballed off of two New York defenders before bouncing off of Richards' left skate and past Snow's stick side for a 1-0 lead.
The Flyers extended their lead with 6:39 remaining in the opening frame while on the power play after Umberger one-timed a loose puck from the left circle past Snow's stick side for a 2-0 advantage.
New York cut the Flyers' lead in half 3:22 into the second period while on the man advantage after Hunter controlled a rebound on the doorstep before punching a shot past Esche to make it 2-1.
Philadelphia regained its' two-goal lead just over two minutes later after Richards got credit for his second tally of the game. Ryan Ready, who was behind the Isles' net, sent a pass into the slot for Richards, but New York defenseman John Erskine, who was diving to stop Richards, deflected the puck just inside the post past Snow for a goal and a 3-1 Flyers' lead.
The Islanders drew back within one with 7:14 left in the second stanza while on the power play after Satan one-timed a shot from the slot off the heel of his stick over Esche's glove to make it 3-2.
The Flyers upped their lead with 2:33 left in the second period while on the power play after Carter one-timed a shot past Snow from below the right circle for a 4-2 advantage.
New York pulled Snow with over a minute left to play and, when Randy Jones was called for tripping, the Isles had a six-on-four advantage for the final 1:16 of the game. But Richards scored in the empty net with 45 seconds left to seal the win for the Flyers.
Flyers forward Peter Forsberg hoped to return for this game after missing the last five but left practice early on Tuesday because of tightness in his left groin and did not play...Flyers left wing Simon Gagne missed the game due to the flu....Philadelphia defenseman Eric Desjardins returned from concussion and shoulder injuries and played for the first time in the last 37 games...Flyers center Petr Nedved returned from a groin injury but left the game after re-aggravating the injury...Islanders defenseman Alexei Zhitnik missed his fourth straight game with an ankle injury...The Flyers have won four of five meetings with the Islanders this season and are 8-3-1 (3 losses, 1 tie) in the last 12 meetings...New York forward Jason Blake played in his 400th game...New York fell to 0-19-2 when trailing after two periods, while the Flyers improved to 19-3-4 when leading after two.
02/09 00:49:05 ET