December 31 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Goalie Michael Leighton’s return was upstaged by the Flyers’ new-look offense Thursday night.
With his team in a funk, coach Peter Laviolette changed his three top lines and it keyed the Flyers‘ 7-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings at the sold-out Staples Center.
Captain Mike Richards collected four points – one shy of his career high – and Claude Giroux had a single-game, personal-best three assists as the Flyers snapped a two-game losing streak.
Richards, who centered Danny Briere and James van Riemsdyk, liked the new lines.
“Sometimes, you just need a little shake-up to get things going,” he said. “Our forecheck was great tonight, which it wasn’t for the last five or six games.”
“Every line seemed to be clicking,” said Briere, who had a goal and an assist – and a gash above his lip, courtesy of Drew Doughty’s stick.
Leighton was shaky in his first start of the season, but Richards (two goals, two assists) led an attack that produced the Flyers‘ highest output since an 8-7 loss to Tampa Bay on Nov. 18.
“It wasn’t our best game, but sometimes you need to win ugly to get going,” Briere said.
After a poor first 40 minutes, Leighton was much sharper in the final period.”
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