Monday, March 2, 2015

Betts, Richards, Leighton key win

TAMPA, Fla. _ Michael Leighton looked horrible in the morning skate, allowing several long shots to go through his legs.

Betts, Richards, Leighton key win

    TAMPA, Fla. _ Michael Leighton looked horrible in the morning skate, allowing several long shots to go through his legs.

    Maybe he got it out of his system because the Flyers' backup-backup goalie _ he has replaced the injured Brian Boucher, who was subbing for the injured Ray Emery _ was solid in the nets Wednesday, helping the Flyers outlast host Tampa Bay, 5-2. Leighton made 31 saves.

    Blair Betts and Mike Richards each scored a pair of goals for the Flyers, who snaped a four-game losing streak.

    "It's definitely a weight off our shoulders," said Leighton after making his first start for the Flyers this season. "We have two days off now before we go into Carolina,, and at least we're not going home with another loss under our belt."

     Simon Gagne added an empty-net goal.

    The Flyers snapped a 2-2 tie with three goals in the final 9:59, and they go into their two-day Christmas break on a positive note.

    The Flyers also got two key assists from defenseman Oskars Bartulis.

   Betts deflected Bartulis' shot into the net to snap a 2-2 tie with 9:59 left.

   "The guys are getting back their confidence," Bartulis said.

    The Flyers are 16-18-2 and can get back to .500 with wins over Carolina and the New York Islanders, two of the league's lightweights.

     Breakaways. The new line of Richards, Gagne and Claude Giroux combined for seven points.....The LCB Line, Part II _ Ian Laperriere, Dan Carcillo and Betts_ were a combined plus-6.....Defenseman Chris Pronger played a game-high 26:12 and was plus-2.....Kimmo Timonen had a game-high five blocked shots.....The Flyers won 58 percent of the faceoffs, with Richards leading the way (11 of 16 for 69 percent).

Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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