If the Flyers could figure out a way to schedule the New York Islanders every night, they probably could make plans for a June parade down Broad Street.
The Flyers ended a five-game losing streak last night, beating the Islanders for the 12th straight time, 6-2, and giving coach Peter Laviolette his first win in three tries with his new team.
Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux scored two goals each at the Wachovia Center, steering the Flyers to just their second win in 10 games. Both victories were against the Islanders.
The Flyers scored more goals last night than in their previous five games combined (five).
"It was good to get some looks and some opportunities tonight and have some guys score goals where they haven't been," Laviolette said. "There haven't been a lot of them around lately. . . . I thought our key players were pretty sharp tonight."
Richards, Carter and Giroux snapped out of scoring droughts. Richards had not scored in four games, Carter hadn't connected in six, and Giroux had been blanked in eight straight.
The Flyers' power play also ended a funk as it converted three of five chances. Richards, Carter and Giroux connected against their old pal, Marty Biron. The power play had been 0 for 19 in the previous five games.
For one night, at least, the Flyers were not the Legion of Gloom.
"We take baby steps with each game, and now it's up to us to continue to build on what we did tonight," defenseman Chris Pronger said, adding that the Flyers took too many penalties (nine) to be satisfied.
In addition to the power-play goals, Richards scored on a shorthanded breakaway.
Defenseman Kimmo Timonen, valiantly playing with a broken foot, contributed two assists and was a team-best plus-3.
Brian Boucher, who becomes the Flyers' No. 1 goalie as Ray Emery is sidelined for at least six weeks with an abdominal injury, made 22 saves to earn the win.
"He played sharp tonight," Laviolette said. "Before I got here, he was playing some pretty good hockey as well. He seems to be on his game. Goaltending drives every team, and you have got to have good ones to get it done."
The Islanders trimmed a 4-0 deficit to 4-2 on a pair of power-play goals by rookie sensation John Tavares, who lost a tooth in the game when Pronger smacked him into the glass.
But, starting late in the second period, Giroux answered with two goals of his own in a little over five minutes, letting the Flyers coast.
"There were a few good goals, but as a whole, this was a terrible game for me and a terrible game for everybody," Biron said.
The Flyers are in the early stages on a brutal stretch in which they play 12 games in 21 days. Boucher will be perhaps the Flyers' most important player in that span.
"I try to prepare the same every single day. In your mind, when you're a backup, you try to play it out as if you are playing," Boucher said. "And now I'm going to get a chance to play, and hopefully I can provide the solid goaltender that's needed for us to win games."
The Flyers began the night 13th in the Eastern Conference, but they were just three points behind eighth-seeded Tampa Bay, which had played two more games.
An Islander's mishap. New York defenseman Brendan Witt played last night after being hit by a gold SUV as he left the team's Center City hotel and walked across Arch Street yesterday morning. "I saw it and jumped up and took the brunt of it," Witt told NHL.com. "I did a nice roll and dismount." After the incident, Witt went to the Wachovia Center for the Isles' morning skate.