Behind Matt Read's hat trick, Flyers rout Panthers

Former Flyers Mike Knuble was signed to a one-year contract to replace Scott Hartnell.
Former Flyers Mike Knuble was signed to a one-year contract to replace Scott Hartnell. (STAN GILLILAND / AP)
Posted: January 27, 2013

SUNRISE, Fla. - So much for the Flyers' attack looking anemic.

Sparked by Matt Read's first career hat trick, they scored more goals Saturday night than they had in their first four games combined, triggering a 7-1 victory over the sad-sack Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center.

"Hopefully this brings our confidence level up and we can continue to create offense," Read said after the breakout game.

Defenseman Braydon Coburn (plus-3, four blocked shots) and center Claude Giroux each set up a pair of scores, goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (30 saves) was superb, and defenseman Luke Schenn had 11 hits and a goal.

The Flyers (2-3), who won their second straight, had scored a total of five goals in their first four games. They had not scored in the first period this season before erupting for three against the injury-riddled Panthers. One of the early goals was winger Tye McGinn's first career tally.

"An unbelievable feeling," said McGinn, who was playing in his third NHL game. "Words can't really explain it."

McGinn (two points) tipped a Coburn shot past goalie Jose Theodore to give the Flyers a 3-0 lead with 1 minute, 9 seconds left in the first period. Theodore was replaced by Scott Clemmensen at the start of the second period.

The Flyers also got first-period goals from Wayne Simmonds (a tip-in on a five-on-three power play) and Read, who made a slick left-to-right move and scored from the slot.

"We've been generating chances the last few games, but not putting them in the net," Coburn said.

The Flyers got a boost from the veteran presence of Danny Briere and the recently signed Mike Knuble, each of whom played their first games of the season.

"We were rushing plays the first few games," Briere said. "Hopefully this will settle everybody down."

Florida suffered its fourth straight loss and fell to 1-4.

Luke Schenn, acquired in an offseason deal that sent James van Riemsdyk to Toronto, played his second consecutive strong game and set the tone with six first-period hits. In addition, he scored his first goal as his point drive trickled through Clemmensen's legs with 13 seconds left in the second period, putting the Flyers ahead, 5-1.

A little over a minute earlier, Coburn made a lengthy dash down the right side and slid a backhand pass to Read, who converted from the left circle to give the Flyers a 4-0 lead.

Mueller scored on a breakaway 36 seconds later to get the Panthers within 4-1 before Luke Schenn answered.

Brayden Schenn (five hits), Luke's younger brother, set up Read's third goal, a one-timer from the slot while the Flyers were on a power play 54 seconds into the final period.

Read, who scored on all three of his shots, has excelled since injuries caused him to move to the top line, alongside Giroux and Simmonds.

"I'm the beneficiary of playing with two great guys," Read said. "It's pretty easy when you're playing with good players. You just have to be in the right spot and do the little things right, and good things will happen."

The Flyers play in Tampa Bay on Sunday at 6 p.m., and backup goalie Michael Leighton could get his first start of the season.