This past weekend the Philadelphia Flyers went 1-1 behind strong efforts by the offense and Ilya Bryzgalov and found themselves trampled in a lazy affair and backup goaltender Michael Leighton. The weekend started with a couple moves made after the Flyers defeated the Rangers to gain their first victory of the season. With Scott Hartnell‘s injury costing him the next four weeks the Flyers agreed to terms with Mike Knuble.
The 40-year-old right winger is making his second appearance as a Flyer. He played for the team from 2005 to 2009 before leaving for free agency and signing with the Washington Capitals. Knuble played 72 games for in 2011-12 and amassed a career low of 18 points (6 goals/12 assists). Knuble started the 2013 season in the minor leagues for the Capitals before agreeing to a 1-year contract with the Flyers. He scored 114 goals & 107 assists during his time with the Flyers. Over the weekend Knuble was involved in one scoring play with an assist on a goal for Matt Read on the power play in the 7-1 victory over Florida. He took one shot over the weekend and saw his ice time drop from the first game to the second with 14:23 against the Panthers and 10:05 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
During the Flyers victory over the Rangers defenseman Andrej Meszaros injured his shoulder and could miss north of four weeks. The Flyers recalled Andreas Lilja from the Phantoms to be the 7th defenseman for the team. The 37-year-old played in 46 games for the team last season and had 6 assists. Lilja is not expected to dress short of another injury to a defenseman.
Eric Wellwood was sent back to the Phantoms prior to the Flyers game against the Panthers. The 22-year-old left winger didn’t earn a point in any of the four games he played so far this season. Returning to the lineup before the game though was right winger Danny Briere. Briere missed the first four games of the season with a wrist injury and returned playing a total of 14:01 and being on the ice for the only goal the Florida Panthers would score. His ice time went up to 17:35 against the Lightning but Briere was not involved in any of the scoring of that game.
Read earned his first career hat trick in the Flyers 7-1 victory over the Panthers Saturday night. His offensive explosion was just what the Flyers needed as the offense had looked flat in the first week of the season before the victory over the Rangers. Read scored two even strength goals (with assists credited to Claude Giroux, Ilya Bryzgalov, Braydon Coburn & Luke Schenn) and his power play goal was assisted by Knuble & and Brayden Schenn. Wayne Simmonds started the scoring off with a power play goal in the first period with assists by Kimmo Timonen & Giroux. Tye McGinn scored his first career NHL goal next to make it 2-0 as Ruslan Fedotenko earned his first point of the season with an assist to go with Coburn. The Flyers 3 1st period goals were the first goals they had scored in the first period all season.
They didn’t stop there as they added 4 more goals (two from Read, one from Luke Schenn with his first goal as a Flyer & Fedotenko) to go with Ilya Bryzgalov’s stifling goalie work. Bryzgalov allowed only one goal on 31 shots for his second victory of the season.
The Flyers stayed in the state of Florida and traveled to Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning. Flyers Head Coach Peter Laviolette decided it was time to rest Bryzgalov and give backup Michael Leighton a start to get some work in. Leighton started off well and the Flyers took an early lead with a goal from Sean Couturier with a goal in the first minute and it looked like the hot Flyers traveled from the Panthers to the Lightning game but it was the last goal the team would score in the game. The Lightning put up 5 straight goals on the team earning the 5-1 victory. The Lightning got goals from Teddy Purcell, Eric Brewer, Vincent Lecavalier, Victor Hedman & Steven Stamkos.
Leighton faced 26 shots stopping 21 of them. Giroux was unable to put a shot on Tampa goalie Anders Lindback as the Lightning moved to 4-1 and the Flyers dropped to 2-4. All aspects of the game showed a lack of hustle in the third period which is uncharacteristic of this team.
Moving forward www.HighPhive.net will have a week ahead preview of the Flyers games this week up in a couple of hours!Tags: Andreas Lilja, Andrej Meszaros, Brayden Schenn, Danny Briere, Eric Wellwood, Ilya Bryzgalov, Kimmo Timonen, Luke Schenn, Matt Read, Michael Leighton, Mike Knuble, NHL, Peter Laviolette, Philadelphia Flyers, Ruslan Fedotenko, Scott Hartnell, Tye McGinn