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CLEAN SWEEP

Giroux, Simmonds, Read and Voracek all have two points as Flyers down Islanders 5-2 for sweep of homestand.

Saturday, 11.23.2013 / 11:04 PM / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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CLEAN SWEEP
Matt Read\u2019s parents picked a good week to fly in for a visit.\r\n\r\nBut, now that things are going so well, the superstitious Read is thinking about some home remodeling.\r\n\r\n\u201CI think I\u2019m going to have to clean out the guest room for them so they can move in,\u201D he said.\r\n\r\nWhen you\u2019re scoring two goals a game, you do whatever you have to do to keep it rolling \u2013 even if it means having the folks move in.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s an arrangement Read would be more than happy to deal with now that the team is on a certified roll following a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders Saturday.

PHILADELPHIA – Matt Read’s parents picked a good week to fly in for a visit.

But, now that things are going so well, the superstitious Read is thinking about some home remodeling.

“I think I’m going to have to clean out the guest room for them so they can move in,” he said.

When you’re scoring two goals a game, you do whatever you have to do to keep it rolling – even if it means having the folks move in.

It’s an arrangement Read would be more than happy to deal with now that the team is on a certified roll following a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders Saturday.

Vincent Lecavalier celebrates after assisting on Wayne Simmonds goal in the Flyers 5-2 win over the New York Islanders.

The Flyers swept all three games of the three game home stand, improved to 6-0-1 in the last seven games, and 9-3-2 since starting the year 1-7-0.

The long climb from that woeful start began exactly one month ago. Yet, in most people’s eyes the odds of them turning the season around this quickly, to be back to faux .500 (10-10-2) in 30 days were longer than seeing a unicorn pulling a sleigh full of bubbly sorority sisters eating kabobs in the Gobi Desert.

Yeah, that unrealistic.

At least it was to everyone save the most ardent of diehards, and the team itself.

“It’s been a great effort by the players,” said coach Craig Berube. “They listened, bought in and worked hard. They did all the right things. As a result we’ve won same games and got ourselves into a pretty good spot.”

And while Berube was referring to all his players, the line of Read, Sean Couturier and Steve Downie stood out yet again.

Read snapped a scoreless tie in the opening minute of the second period when he fired the rebound of a Couturier shot past Kevin Poulin for 1-0.

Read added the empty-netter at the end of the game too, and while that trio was on the ice - and they were on the ice more than any other Flyers line Saturday – the Islanders struggled to find any room to move, let alone generate anything resembling scoring chances.

“The Couturier line has been outstanding the last three or four games,” said Jake Voracek, who had two assists of his own. “They are playing unbelievably. That line is the best line in the NHL right now.”

That’s high praise from a teammate.

And while it’s hard to truly convince others that Voracek’s belief is correct, the fact that they are outplaying the top line of every team the Flyers come across on the schedule, could suggest that even if they aren’t the best, they’re certainly playing in that same, elite, rarified air as the best in the game.

The first goal was an igniter for the Flyers, who ended up pumping in three goals in 3:02 early in the second period.

Wayne Simmonds scored on a wrister from the right circle 59 seconds later to make it 2-0 and then Claude Giroux buried a slapper on another no-look pass from Simmonds on the power play for 3-0.

The power play has registered a tally in six straight games and has been clicking at 32 percent in that time.

Voracek got the secondary assists on Giroux’s goal and picked up another later on the insurance marker by Brayden Schenn. Voracek now has points in six of the last seven games.

The Islanders wouldn’t go away though and rebounded quickly, scoring two even strength goals to get back within one.

It was the first even strength goal allowed by the Flyers in 345 minutes, 39 seconds, the second longest streak in franchise history.

But once again, faced with adversity, the Flyers didn’t wilt.

Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist and now has eight points in the last seven games.

“A couple weeks ago when we would have that second goal scored against us we would have just, pardon my language, [messed] the bed. Right now though, we are very calm on the bench. We were able to forecheck and get that fourth goal, which was huge.”

Voracek made it happen with good work along the boards to be able to get the puck on net where Brayden Schenn was there to put in the rebound.

Steve Mason made 36 saves in another brilliant outing in goal and it marked the tenth consecutive game the Flyers allowed three goals or less, something they haven't done since February, 2011 and have only done 23 times in franchise history.

Read rounded it off and the Flyers suddenly find themselves just two points out of a playoff spot with a game in hand on the New York Rangers.

Heck, while they’re being all positive and feeling the mojo working, they’re only eight points out of first place with two games in hand on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“I think the only way to look is up,” Read said. “You've got to put these last eight or nine games behind you and keep playing Philadelphia Flyers hockey, getting pucks deep, playing smart.

“If we keep playing the way we are it's going to be a hard night for another team to beat us.

“We've just got to keep playing the way we are, take control of games, and keep winning.”

In the meantime Matt, be sure to fluff the pillows in your guest room before you head out on the road.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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