Read, Lauridsen Score Thanks to Lucky Bounces
PHILADELPHIA -- For most of the 2013 season it seemed the bounces just weren't go the Flyers' way.
Bad bounces led to opponents' goals while they stayed out of the nets when the Flyers were on the offensive. Along with a complicated mixture of other factors, it kept the Flyers out of the post season for just the second time in the last 18 years.
That luck would finally change for the Flyers when it didn't really matter, but it felt good anyway.
In a 60-minute game for the Flyers, a minuscule seven-second window produced two goals which lead to the Flyers' eventual 5-2 win over the Bruins.
"Unfortunately we’re just starting to score goals too late but I think our team’s gelling," said Matt Read. "[We're] just starting to get the luck and the bounces and working hard together. All the lines, the chemistry are clicking so its bittersweet and you don’t score five goals against the Boston Bruins who are a great team and have a good chance of going deep into the playoffs. It’s one of those nights where the pucks were going our way and things just ended up in the back of the net."
Read scored the first of those two goals on a bizarre play out front.
Brayden Schenn originally skated the puck in on a 2-on-1 with Wayne Simmonds. Schenn looked shot-first and the rebound caromed wide.
Simmonds was able to get the loose puck and cycled around for another shot on Bruins goaltender Anton Khubodin. After Khubodin couldn't control the rebound, the puck bounced towards Read and Boston's Brad Marchand.
Marchand chopped at the puck and it bounced into the air. Read took a baseball swing at the puck and knocked it directly into the net to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead just over eight minutes into the second.
"I have no clue how that happened, just straight luck I guess," Read said. "The puck just bounced and I just swung and I don’t know how that even went in the net. I didn’t have much room. I hope it hit the ice and bounced in but I’ll take it."
The strangest of bounces came just seconds later for the Flyers.
After winning the ensuing face off, Oliver Lauridsen skated the puck to the redline and dumped it into the zone where it wrapped into the corner. Zdeno Chara went to play the puck but the puck took an awkward bounce off the heel of his stick and towards the front of the net.
"I was trying to push it behind [the net]," said Chara. "The puck was stuck on the board. Tried to you know, flip behind the net to my D partner and just took a weird bounce.”
Khubodin, who wasn't expecting the puck to come near him, panicked and redirected the puck through his legs and into his own net to charge Chara with the own goal.
"I just didn’t want to…it pretty much turned my stick," Khubodin said after the game. "I could have just let it go but it would have been right in front. I didn’t want that to happen. That’s why I turned my stick way too much. Just keep my stick on one end. Not much I can say about it. It was a bad rebound."
Lauridsen took credit for the goal, which wound up being his first career goal in the NHL. It's ironic that his first goal would come way of a future Hall of Famer and fellow big-bodied blue liner.
One could think Lauridsen would upset having not scored his first goal on his own. But it didn't matter to the rookie, who said bounces are just a part of the game.
"Why would I be [upset]? I just scored a goal!" Lauridsen said. "In 20 years or a week from now no one is going to ask me how that went in. It’s a bounce; it wasn’t a well calculated snipe or anything. It’s not much different from when you take a shot from the point and it hits three different shin pads and goes in. Hockey is a game of inches and bounces; you see it all the time."
Even more surprising, that goal wound up being the game-winner for the Flyers.
"I was just told that. That’s hockey for you right there," Lauridsen said. "It’s a bounce here and a bounce there. A bounce went mine and the team’s way and end up being the G-dub (game winner). I’ll take it, take it for a win."
Lauridsen also told The Fourth Period writer David Strehle after the game that Chara skated by the bench and told the Dane, "You owe me a beer."
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, this was the fasted the Flyers have scored two goals back-to-back since repeating the feat back on December 27, 1988 in a 4-3 loss at Washington.
Photo of Matt Read by John Russo. See his photo album of warm-ups before the Flyers/Bruins game.