"It's my old team, and I have a little bit to prove, but I think it's more that we have to focus on our team game," Simmonds said after Friday's practice in Voorhees. "It's not about me. We want to come in and get the two points, and that's all that matters."
Simmonds, 23, who has embraced an increased role with the Flyers, played his first three seasons with Los Angeles and lived with Kings defenseman Drew Doughty for two years. He said he "learned how to be defensively responsible from Terry" Murray, the Kings coach and former Flyers coach. "They kind of stress defense first, and that's kind of the way the team plays."
No matter what happens on the ice between him and Doughty, Simmonds added, "obviously we'll still be friends off it. But as soon we strap on our equipment and go into battle, it's take no prisoners."
Coach Peter Laviolette, meanwhile, downplayed the return of Richards, who spent six years with the Flyers.
"I think when players come back to their [former] buildings for the first time, it's always a little bit different," Laviolette said. "To be honest with you, we're focusing more on Los Angeles and their team and what we need to do to make sure we win a game."
Scott Hartnell, one of Richards' closest friends, had dinner with the ex-Flyer on Monday.
"It's good to see a good buddy that we had a lot of laughs with," he said. ". . . I'm sure we'll have a couple on the ice [Saturday], but when push comes to shove, he'll be rolling over me to get the puck in the corner, and I'll be doing the same to him."
Hartnell said that it took Richards a while to "wrap his head around" the trade because he loved Philadelphia, but that he has accepted it, and his mind "is in a good place now. And he's had a good start with L.A."
"It's going to be a little weird," defenseman Kimmo Timonen said of facing Richards. "Obviously, we're going to talk in the morning, but when the game starts, it's like anybody else out here. We're going to play him hard. . . . You can't give him a free pass."
Was it tough when Timonen returned to play in Nashville after being dealt to the Flyers?
"It's not tough. You're actually excited," Timonen said. "You want to see how the fans react - and I'm hoping they give Richie a standing ovation."
Asked whether Richards would be his friend until the first hit, Timonen smiled. "Mine or his?" he replied.
Danny Briere recalled when he was in his first year with the Flyers and returned to play in Buffalo, where he spent three-plus seasons. He said Richards and former longtime Flyer Simon Gagne - who played at the Wells Fargo Center with Tampa Bay last season but is now with the Kings - will have extra adrenaline on Saturday.
"I was nervous," Briere said of going back to Buffalo to oppose the Sabres. "You're wondering how the crowd is going to react. You're also fired up. I'm sure those two guys will have a little extra step in their skates."
Breakaways. Hartnell said Richards' night life got "blown out of proportion," and he called him a great all-around player. "A 24-year-old multimillionaire likes to have a few beers. What a shocker that is," Hartnell told the Courier-Post. . . . Richards, now 26, said it was "fun coming to the rink again." . . . The Flyers will try to go to 4-0 for the eighth time in their history. Their best start was 6-0 in 1986.
Danny Briere says it's going to be "weird" playing against Mike Richards when the Flyers face the Kings on Saturday. philly.com/flyersvideos
Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at 215-854-5181, email@example.com, or @BroadStBull on Twitter.