Flyers pitch shutout as remade Flames disappear in first night since deal

CALGARY, Alberta -- Despite a vastly different lineup, the Calgary Flames absorbed a very familiar result.

Mike Richards scored twice and Ray Emery made 18 saves for his third shutout of the season as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the new-look Flames 3-0 on Monday night.

"We knew they were going come out hard, and instead of wading into the game and seeing what they were going to do, we came out and initiated," Richards said. "We played well all the way through. We played well defensively, we did a lot of good things offensively and clogged up the neutral zone as much as we could."

All four players acquired by the Flames in Sunday's blockbuster trade with Toronto that sent defenseman Dion Phaneuf, forward Fredrik Sjostrom, and minor league defenseman Keith Aulie to the Maple Leafs were in Calgary's lineup.

And soon after Monday's game was over, the Flames continued their shake-up by shipping forwards Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust to the New York Rangers for forwards Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins in a deal that became a strong rumor on Sunday night.

Against the Flyers, Matt Stajan moved onto the top line between captain Jarome Iginla and Dustin Boyd. Finnish left-winger Niklas Hagman joined countryman Jokinen on a line with Jamie Lundmark that existed for only one game.

"You try and build chemistry, and get used to tendencies of the guys you're playing with. It doesn't just happen," Stajan said. "You start to get a feel, but it wasn't there tonight. We've got to make sure we work hard at practice [Tuesday] and really get a feel for whoever we're playing with and be better."

Jamal Mayers skated on the fourth line, and defenseman Ian White not only assumed Phaneuf's old jersey No. 3 but also paired with his former defense partner Robyn Regehr.

"It was disappointing. We've got to play a better hockey game, that's the bottom line," Stajan said.

The line centered by Stajan combined to be a minus-five.

Richards broke a scoreless tie at 10:15 of the second off a series of lucky bounces. Simon Gagne knocked the puck out of the air and off Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. It bounced right to Richards, who ripped a high shot past Miikka Kiprusoff.

The Flyers extended the lead to 2-0 at 1:49 of the third after Iginla turned over the puck in the Philadelphia end. Arron Asham fed Claude Giroux, who sped in alone on Kiprusoff and neatly put a backhand over the goalie.

Richards added his 22nd of the season on a power play at 17:44, and Emery did the rest.

"He made the saves that needed to be made," Richards said of Emery. "Coming off his surgery, it looks like he's a lot more confident, a lot more comfortable in net, not letting out too many rebounds, playing the puck a lot better and made the big saves when he needed to do."

The Flames recorded 18 shots, their second-lowest total this season.

"We had a lot of guys here that didn't play well," Flames coach Brent Sutter said. "I don't think the emotion level was where it needed to be. We were tentative on pucks. We played a bad game."

Hagman fanned on a shot from the top of the circle in the first, and White missed the net badly on a dangerous opportunity in the second.

Calgary's best scoring chance came while short-handed in the first, and Emery didn't need to make a save. Defenseman Adam Pardy raced up ice to join Curtis Glencross but his shot sailed wide.

The Flyers will look for their 10th win in 14 games at Edmonton on Wednesday.

"We knew we had to play for 60 minutes, which is something we've gotten away from a little bit the last couple games," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "That was probably our best 60-minute effort in quite a few games."

Calgary lost for the seventh time in eight home games (1-6-1 in their last eight). The Flames have scored only 12 goals in that span, six coming Saturday in a win over Edmonton.

"I don't think it's right to judge them on their performance tonight but the reality is we can't have players, new and old, take too long getting used to each other because we have no time for that, we have to win hockey games," Sutter said.

One of the reasons for bringing in Hagman (20 goals, 13 assists) and Stajan (16 goals, 25 assists) was to rejuvenate the slumbering offense. But the Flames produced their fewest shots since a 3-0 loss at Detroit on Nov. 27.

Game notes
Flames rookie C Mikael Backlund was scratched. Since he was recalled from Abbotsford (AHL) on Jan. 26, the Flames went 1-0-2 in Backlund's first three games. The 20-year-old Swede had one goal and one assist in the three games. ... Calgary's first power-play unit also had a new look with Iginla up front with Stajan and Hagman. ... Philadelphia has won its last three visits to Calgary. The Flyers' last loss there was a 3-1 defeat on March 22, 2001. ... D Lukas Krajicek played in his first game after signing with the Flyers on Sunday.