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Mike Richards, Justin Williams Help Deliver Flyers’ First Loss

Oct 15, 2011, 10:14 PM EDT

The Flyers lost their first game of the season, done in by the efforts of a few former members of the team—Mike Richards, Justin Williams, and Simon Gagne, but also a great game by Quick.

Well that was a bit of a gut punch… After a hard-fought battle went to overtime, Mike Richards helped to deliver his former team its first loss with a nice assist to Jack Johnson. It came on a powerplay in overtime, but the set up was vintage Richards, a fake slapshot turned to a pass for the winner off the stick of Johnson.

Richards received a mostly warm welcome at first, with some Flyers fans on their feet to start, and an even better reception when Lou Nolan announced him with a brief showing on the main screen. Others booed, a trend that would grow every time Richards touched the puck. Surreal.

The Flyers played well but were unable to break out in this one, leaving open the opportunity that Richards would factor into a Kings win. Unfortunately, he did.

It was a damn good game, very physical from both sides while not being particularly dirty. Zac Rinaldo sent Drew Doughty to the dressing room on his first shift, in my opinion with a clean hit. The Kings were up to the task though, banging away throughout the game and ultimately cashing in after the Flyers went to the kill one too many times.

It wasn’t Richards, but rather another former Flyer that did his old team in tonight; Justin Williams notched a pair of goals. Definitely a blow for Flyers fans, who saw Williams score a pair and Richards and Simon Gagne each notch an assist. Goalie Jonathan Quick was probably the biggest factor for the Kings though, making some huge saves during stretches in which the Flyers dramatically outplayed LA.

Ilya Bryzgalov had a solid night in net too, his fourth straight showing in which it was hard to pin any goals directly on him. The power play was also a strength for the Flyers, who scored both of their goals with the man advantage.

All in all, not the worst loss for the Flyers, and they did get a point. Still, it stings  a bit that so many former Flyers factored into the winning effort for the Kings. It’s been a long night, so we’ll leave it at that. Not a terrible loss for the Flyers at all, but it’s a bit more painful given how many former popular Flyers contributed to the win.