OTTAWA – Matt Read needed just one period against the Ottawa Senators to put up the biggest offensive numbers of his young career.
Read had a goal and two assists in the opening 20 minutes as the Philadelphia Flyers built a 4-0 first-period lead and went on to beat the Senators 7-2 at Scotiabank Place.
Read added a third assist and fourth point in the third period.
“This is the NHL and nothing comes easy, but I felt good and got a couple bounces and enjoyed my time out on the ice,” Read said.
The four-goal outburst was enough for Senators coach Paul MacLean to make a goaltending switch to start the second period as Craig Anderson came on in relief of Alex Auld, who faced just 10 shots. Anderson made 17 saves but surrendered three goals late in the third period.
“I think we stopped playing when they got that first goal and allowed them to get three more,” MacLean said. “We started playing in the second period when the pressure was off. We’re not very pleased at all and we need to have an evaluation of our team and how we play because we’re not doing it very well.
“We win as a team, we lose as a team and we’ll fix it as a team.”
Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux and Max Talbot also scored for the Flyers (4-0-1) in the first period. James van Riemsdyk, Sean Couturier and Harrison Zolnierczyk scored in the final five minutes of the third period. The goals for Couturier and Zolnierczyk were their first in the NHL.
“It was pretty special,” said Couturier, who didn’t have much of a celebration as his goal gave the Flyers a 6-1 lead.
“Yes I was happy, but it was the sixth goal and I didn’t want to disrespect the opposition either.”
The Flyers were successful on three of their six power plays.
Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 21 shots in his first start of the season.
Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson had the only goals for the Senators (1-5-0). Ottawa had its chances offensively but was shut out on five power-play opportunities, including a span in the second period where they had extensive stretches playing four-on-three and five-on-three.
The Senators held a players-only meeting after the game.
“It was a wake-up call to all of us,” defenceman Chris Phillips said.
“We have to be more accountable, figure out what our identity is and be better to a man really. We can’t go home thinking ‘I had my guy and everyone else did a bad job.’ We have to take a long hard look at ourselves and figure out how we can be better and how each guy can help out the team more.”
The Senators fell 7-1 to the Colorado Avalanche on home ice last Thursday but were better in a 2-1 loss to the Capitals in Washington on Saturday. Tuesday’s loss threw their good work of Saturday out the window.
“It’s certainly not our intention and not what we wanted to happen. You wonder where it’s going wrong and what the problem is,” Phillips said.
Veteran Jaromir Jagr had a good scoring opportunity in the second period and another in the third, but he was unable to score his first goal as a member of the Flyers.
The win for the Flyers was their first in Ottawa since Nov. 24, 2007. They had lost seven straight in the Capital City since a 4-3 victory.
For Talbot, it was his first goal since joining the Flyers as an off-season free agent from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“It was pretty special and nice to get one in orange and white. It feels nice to get one but it feels nice to get the win as well,” Talbot said, who along with Giroux, played junior hockey across the Ottawa River with the Gatineau Olympiques.
“It’s nice to play well in l’Outaouais and I know the Flyers have had some trouble the last couple of years in Ottawa, but we’ve got some new bodies on this team and we wanted to start strong and we did.”
The 18,059 in attendance Tuesday, well below capacity, were all over Auld early on in the game as he surrounded two very soft and two questionable goals.
The first goal from Read and the third from Giroux were on floater shots that were meant more to create a rebound than to turn on the red light. Simmonds goal came when he scored on a rebound during a large scramble in front of Auld.
Talbot gently placed the puck between Auld’s pads on a pass from Read in the final minute of the period.
The Senators got on the board late in the second period when Daniel Alfredsson fed a cross-crease pass to Spezza who buried his opportunity from the side of Bobrovsky.Karlsson scored with 20 seconds to play.