SUNRISE, Fla. — Matt Read notched his first career hat trick — and thought it came pretty easily.
Read helped Philadelphia beat the Florida Panthers 7-1 on Saturday night, the Flyers’ second straight win after losing their first three games of the season. Wayne Simmonds, Tye McGinn, Luke Schenn, and Ruslan Fedotenko also scored for the Flyers, and Ilya Bryzgalov had 30 saves.
“It’s pretty special getting your first hat trick,” Read said. “I’m the beneficiary of playing with two good guys (Claude Giroux and Simmonds). It’s pretty easy when you’re playing with two good players and you just be at the right spot at the right time and just do the little things right and good things are going to happen.”
Peter Mueller scored for the Panthers and Scott Clemmensen stopped 13 shots in relief of Jose Theodore, who was pulled after allowing three goals on nine shots in the first period. The Panthers have lost four straight after winning their season opener. They have been outscored 18-2 in that stretch.
“It doesn’t feel like I scored after a game like that,” Mueller said. “It’s tough to take anything positive out of it. The good news is we have a couple days off to really figure out what’s going on and stop the bleeding and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
The Flyers won their fourth straight game at Florida.
Read’s third goal came less than a minute into the final period on a shot from the slot that beat Clemmensen on the glove side and made it 6-1. Fedotenko scored later in the third to make the score 7-1.
Three goals were scored during 4-on-4 play in the last 90 seconds of the second period — two by the Flyers, who led 3-0 at the time.
Read’s second goal of the game came on a shot from the left circle that floated past Clemmensen at the 18 minute, 34 second mark to make it 4-0. The Panthers answered on Mueller’s goal about 30 seconds later. Mueller skated in on Bryzgalov and beat him stick side. Schenn scored with 13 seconds left in the period on a shot from the blue line that trickled between Clemmensen’s pads to stretch the lead to 5-1.
“It was good to score goals. They’ve been hard to come by so far this year,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “To put up a bunch of them was good for our team.”
Panthers coach Kevin Dineen was clearly not pleased with the loss at home.
“We weren’t good in net tonight. Our defense was atrocious,” Dineen said. “We’re a bunch of individuals right now. We don’t have the chemistry to play as a team. You know what, I hate sitting here in one of these things and beating up on your people. It’s stupid.”
Dineen then ended the news conference abruptly.
The Flyers took a 1-0 lead on a 5-on-3 power play goal by Simmonds at 3:10 in.
Read’s first goal put the Flyers up 2-0 at 7:12 when his slap shot from the right circle caromed off the post and into the net.
Philadelphia went ahead 3-0 on McGinn’s goal at 18:50.
“Not many games you can score seven goals,” McGinn said. “We’ve been struggling for goals and to have an outbreak like that, it’s a great thing for the team. We need to carry it over now.”
NOTES: Flyers C Danny Briere made his season debut Saturday after missing the first four games with a hairline fracture of the left wrist. ... RW Mike Knuble played his first game after signing a one-year contract Friday.