Matt Trick: Read Nets First Career Hatty
SUNRISE, FL -- Only a handful of hats decorated the ice at the BB&T Center in Florida during the third period.
To Matt Read it didn't matter if it was 10 hats or 1,000 hats. His hat trick helped spark the Flyers in their 7-1 rout over the Florida Panthers Saturday.
All it took for Read was three well-timed, well-placed shots for him to net the first hat trick of his career. His offensive outburst couldn't have come at a better time for the Flyers, who had scored only five goals in their first four games of the season.
Read scored a goal in each period. Read also scored on each of Florida's netminders -- Jose Theodore once and Scott Clemensen twice.
In the first period, Read did all the work. After goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov move the puck up to Claude Giroux, the captain found Read, enabling the 26-year-old to skate into the Panthers zone uncontested.
Read then fired a snap shot that beat Theodore high to the glove side, giving the Flyers a 2-0 lead.
Late into the second period, Read scored his second goal of the night. Braydon Coburn set up Read with a fancy back-handed pass that Read put past Clemensen for his second goal of the game, giving Philadelphia a 4-0 lead.
The third period saw the dozen hats fly from the stands. While on the power play, Brayden Schenn sent a pass to the high slot and Read slapped the one-timer passed Clemensen to give Philadelphia a 6-1 lead over Florida.
The goals were the first three goals of the season for Read. They came with Read skating on the top line with Giroux and Wayne Simmonds.
The line was created this morning. It was head coach Peter Laviolette's third different top line only five games into the season.
That top line was getting a lot of pressure on New York's Henrik Lundqvist on Thursday. Simmonds scored the lone goal of the trio in that game.
But what that line creates for the Flyers is a pure triple threat.
Read proved he can be a goal-scorer last season when he lead all rookies with 24 goals. Giroux was second in the NHL with 65 assists.
Then there was the powerful Simmonds who serves as the line's physical threat. He scored a career-high 28 goals last season, doing so by crashing the net and cleaning up the garbage.
With five goals in the last two games -- surprisingly none by Giroux -- this top line appears like it could be a main stay in Laviolette's system.