Flyers Get First Win In Ottawa Since 2007

Matt Read notched a career-high four points tonight as the Flyers destroyed the Senators 7-2 in Ottawa.

Read, Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux, and Max Talbot provided goals in the first period to give the Flyers an insurmountable lead.

Sergei Bobrovsky had 21 saves on 23 Senators’ shots in his first appearance — and win — of the season.

Goals from Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson weren’t nearly enough for Ottawa as Philly produced its biggest win of the short season.

His first goal in the league may have been soft, but Read’s second goal was a thing of beauty. Burning past rookie blueliner David Rundbald, Read let a shot fly just before the goal line that squeaked it’s way between Alex Auld’s back and the post finding its way past the goal line. His second goal of his budding career gave the Flyers an early 1-0 lead.

Just 27 seconds after Read’s goal the Flyers found themselves on their first power play of the game. With Zack Smith in the box for boarding, Philly capitalized to enhance their lead to two.

As several Senators laid in front of the net due to a scrum, Simmonds gained control of the loose puck in the slot and ripped a shot while spinning towards the net. Finding its way through the traffic in front, Simmonds had his second goal of the season and the Flyers had their second goal of the game.

Not learning from their first minor in the game, the Senators gave Philly another man advantage late in the period with a Colin Greening double minor for high-sticking.

Wasting no time at all on the power play, Giroux danced into the zone and ripped a shot that rang off the inside of the post for a three-goal Flyers lead. The goal was Giroux’s fourth of the season and his second point on the night. Unfortunately for Ottawa, Giroux’s goal wasn’t the end of the orange and black’s explosive first period.

With a goal and assist in the game already, Read added on to his total just before the first intermission. Blazing past the defense yet again, Read went along the boards and behind the net before dishing the puck to Max Talbot in the slot. Talbot took the puck on the backhand and put it home for his first goal of the year and a Flyers’ 4-0 lead.

As if a four-goal lead wasn’t enough action for the first 20 minutes, Zac Rinaldo dropped the gloves with Zenon Konopka before the end of the first period. Despite a takedown by Konopka, Rinaldo held his own and didn’t give any momentum to Ottawa entering the second period.

Auld was replaced by Craig Anderson after he gave up four goals in ten shots in the first period. In addition to changing goalies, the Senators added on to their momentum after Chris Neil fought Matt Walker and Walker was sent to the box for a high sticking double minor.

The Sens were only on the power play for 32 seconds before Daniel Alfredsson took an absent-minded penalty by hitting Giroux in open ice nowhere near the puck. The Sens’ two-man advantage was restored only 56 seconds later when Matt Carle went to the box for hooking.  The Flyers effectively killed off all their minors to keep the score 4-0.

After fending off several scoring chances by the Sens during the second period, Bobrovsky finally let one pass him to end another shutout bid. Alfredsson set up a beautiful pass to Spezza at the top of the crease for a tip-in goal with only 61 seconds left in the second period. As the remaining time in the period went scoreless, the Flyers still held on to a three-goal lead heading into the final 20 minutes.

Keeping their three-goal lead intact going into the final five minutes of play, the Flyers added on two quick goals to extend their lead to five. After James van Riemsdyk tipped in a shot for his second goal of the season at the 15:25 mark of the third period, Sean Couturier scored his first goal in the NHL just 36 seconds later on a beautiful pass from Carle.

Even though the Flyers led 6-1 entering the final minute, the action wasn’t done. Harry Zolnierczyk scored a beauty going top shelf on a backhand as Anderson charged out to challenge him. Zolnierczyk’s first NHL goal came with 45 seconds, but it wasn’t the last goal of the night.

With 20 seconds left in the game Erik Karlsson scored to cut the deficit to five. Since the Sens couldn’t muster five goals in 20 seconds, the Flyers went on to win 7-2.

Once again, the new guys for Philly came through again. Not only did Read have a goal and three assists, he looked good with the puck showing patience and poise. A perfect example of this was the way he controlled the puck through the offensive zone on Talbot’s goal.

Zolnierczyk’s speed was noticeable and his athletic goal at the end of the game was a nice way to cap off his first NHL regular season game.

Heading into the night with one point on the season, Couturier had the primary assist on Read’s goal and scored his first NHL goal of his career in the third period.

The orange and black will see if the momentum caused by the young guns will carry over to Thursday night as they take on the undefeated Washington Capitals in Philadelphia.

Notes: This is Bobrovsky’s first win since March 29 at Pittsburgh…Bobrovsky upped his record to 3-0-0 against the Senators in his career…The Flyers are now 4-0-1, having started the season with 5 straight games with a point for the first time since going 3-0-2 in 2002-03..This also marks the Flyers’ longest point-streak since their 8-game run back in March (4-0-4)…This was the Flyers’ first win in Ottawa since November 24th, 2007 ( a 4-3 victory)…The first period of tonight’s game was the Flyers’ first four-goal burst since the second period of their 7-4 win against the Kings on December 30, 2010…Timonen’s next game is his 900th career NHL game…Auld fell to 4-2-0 against the Flyers in his career.

* – Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Flyers.