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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 ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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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




1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47


C. Giroux 49 16 27 -3 43
J. Voracek 49 8 33 3 41
W. Simmonds 49 18 16 -4 34
B. Schenn 47 14 15 -1 29
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
S. Gostisbehere 31 8 16 4 24
M. Read 48 9 9 -5 18
S. Laughton 49 4 10 -6 14
M. Raffl 49 6 6 4 12
M. Del Zotto 47 3 9 -8 12
S. Mason 12 12 6 .916 2.71
M. Neuvirth 11 6 2 .933 2.14
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