Carter, Richards need to step up

    DENVER _ The Flyers need their two marquee offensive players _ Jeff Carter and Mike Richards _ to step up and lead the team out of their current funk.

   Both have been glaringly unproductive in recent games. 
      Carter, who scored 46 goals last season, is scoreless in the last four games _ and has just one goal in his last eight contests. All told, he has seven goals; he had 15 at the same point last season.
     After a fast start, Richards is also scuffling. He, too, has just one goal in his last eight games. After scoring six goals in his first five games, the Flyers’ captain has three goals in the last 15 contests. He had zero shots in Saturday's 3-1 loss to Phoenix.
       The Flyers are 1-2 on their five-game trip, one that  finishes with matchups against two of the league's most surprising teams _ Colorado (Monday) and the New York Islanders (Wednesday).

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       Because of injuries to Blair Betts and Darroll Powe, the Flyers on Sunday recalled center Jared Ross and right winger Andreas Nodl from the AHL Phantoms. Both will be trying to improve on their performances with the Flyers last season _ Nodl had one goal and was minus-15 in 38 games, while Ross had zero goals in 10 games and was minus-4.

       Nodl had three goals in 16 games with the Phantoms this season; Ross had one goal and six assists in 15 games with the AHL affiliate.

       Betts, one of the Flyers' top penalty killers and faceoff men, and Powe will miss four to six weeks with shoulder injuries.

      The Flyers are 10-3 with Betts in the lineup, and 2-4-1 without him.

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       Colorado (13-7-3), like the Flyers (12-7-1), got off to a good start but has lost its last two games; the Avs are just 3-6-1 in the last 10 games.
       Goalie Craig Anderson, who has a 2.52 goals-against average and .923 save percentage, has been shaky in two of his last three starts for Colorado. The Avs' offense has featured LW Wojtek Wolski (9 goals, 11 assists, 20 points), C Paul Stastny (4-16-20), RW Milan Hejduk (10-7-17) and impressive rookie C Ryan O'Reilly (4-11-15), who leads the team with a plus-9 rating.