'Baby steps,' says Pronger of win
Defenseman Chris Pronger called the Flyers' 6-2 win over the visiting New York Islanders Tuesday "baby steps" and said the team needs to build on the victory.
In other words, the next six games in an 11-day stretch will show us the true identity of the Flyers.
During that stretch, they will face Ottawa, New Jersey, Boston, Pittsburgh (twice) and the Rangers. The Rangers (14-14-1) are the only team in that group that doesn't have a winning record.
Still, there were some positive signs Tuesday. The most positive: Star players Mike Richards and Jeff Carter broke out of scoring slumps. Ditto Claude Giroux.
Each of the three players scored two goals as the Flyers ended a five-game winning streak and gave Peter Laviolete his first coaching win with his new team.
"It's nice to score some goals; it's been a long time," said Giroux, who hadn't scored in eight games. "I felt I could control the puck tonight."
Richards ended a four-game scoring drought, and Carter snapped a six-game goal-less streak as the Flyers defeated the Isles for the 12th straight time.
"It's nice to finally get a couple of bounces," Richards said.
The Flyers' power play, which was 0 for 19 during the five-game losing streak, was 3 for 5.
"I don't think we did a whole lot differently. We did a lot of the same things, but the execution was maybe better," Richards said.
It was the Flyers' first game after it was announced that goalie Ray Emery would miss at least six weeks because of an abdominal tear that will need surgery Wednesday.
Brian Boucher made 22 saves Tuesday to register the win.
"It's always tough losing a goalie, but I thought Boosh stepped up _ and he has stepped up every time he's been in the net," Richards said. "Obviously, he had success it San Jose last year when (Evgeni) Nabokov was out, so hopefully he can do that again."
After getting just 15 shots in a 3-1 loss in Montreal on Monday, the Flyers outshot the Islanders, 37-24.
NOTES. If Isles goalie Marty Biron was auditioning for a return to the Flyers, he did not make a good impression......Carter had a team-high five shots and won 64 percent of his faceoffs.....The Flyers host Ottawa Thursday......Richards scored the Flyers' second shorthanded goal this season. It was his 20th shorthanded goal as a Flyer, tying him with Brian Propp for sixth all-time in the club's history. Rick MacLeish stands in fifth place with 21 shorthanded goals.