Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flyers crush hapless Sens; Read, rookies make their mark

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor

On certain occasions, a blind prediction may have some grains of truth to it.

Such was the case of TSN's Bob McKenzie, who, when recently pressed for his Calder Trophy candidate, blurted out Philadelphia's Matt Read via Twitter.

Read repaid that trust in spades on Tuesday night, ending up with a career-best four points on a goal and three assists, as the Flyers snapped a seven-game losing streak in Ottawa stretching over nearly four years with a 7-2 decision over the hapless Senators.

Claude Giroux and Max Talbot added a goal and helper each for the Flyers, who earned their first win in Canada's capital since November 24, 2007.

Sean Couturier and Harry Zolniercyk registered their first NHL goals as Philadelphia opened up a season without a regulation loss in its first five games since going 3-0-2 to kick off Ken Hitchcock's first year at the helm in 2002-03.

Sergei Bobrovsky's first start of the year was a solid one, as the Russian halted 21-of-23 shots.

Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson scored for the Senators, who stumbled to their fifth loss in six contests.

Alex Auld was pulled after one period, giving up four goals on 10 shots to take the loss. Craig Anderson finished by allowing three scores on 20 shots.

Read put the Flyers on the board at the 6:20 mark of the opening period, when his sharp-angle chance from along the goal line on the right wing beat Auld under the crossbar.

Wayne Simmonds doubled the advantage on a power play at eight minutes even, lifting a loose puck over a goalmouth scramble from between the circles.

It was 3-0 for Philly at 16:17 on the front end of a four-minute advantage as Giroux ripped a shot from the right wing over Auld's opposite shoulder, and Talbot provided a four-goal margin with one minute left.

The visitors survived four Ottawa power plays, including a brief two-man edge, but couldn't finish the second period by maintaining a 4-0 lead.

Daniel Alfredsson -- the calm veteran captain in his 16th season -- fed Spezza for a tap-in at the right side of the crease with 61 seconds remaining.

James van Riemsdyk tipped in a point blast on a power play with 4:35 left in the contest, and Couturier deposited his initial score 36 seconds later for a 6-1 game.

Zolniercyk capped the Flyers scoring inside the final minute with a nifty deke of Anderson before chipping the disc up high on the backhand.

Karlsson blew a shot home with 20 ticks left to end another disappointing tilt for the Sens.

Notes: This was the most decisive win for the Flyers in Ottawa since a 7-2 final on
January 3, 1998...Philadelphia last tallied at least seven times on the road in a 7-4 victory at Los Angeles last December 30...Ottawa also gave up seven at home on October 13 in a 7-1 loss to Colorado...Prior to the contest, the Flyers recalled Zolniercyk from Adirondack of the AHL...Tuesday's win marked the first time since October 5, 2000 (6-3 win over Vancouver) that two Flyers rookies -- Justin Williams and Petr Hubacek -- notched their first NHL goals
in the same game ...On this date in 1984, Philadelphia tied a still-standing franchise record for goals in one game in a 13-2 demolition of Vancouver at the Spectrum.

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