Ducks spoil opener in Philly

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Rob Par­ent rpar­ent@ 21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Reluc­tan­tSE on Twit­ter

Ryan Gar­butt’s goal broke a tie in the third period and sent the Ana­heim Ducks to their first win of the sea­son, 3-2 over the Philadel­phia Fly­ers on Thurs­day night.

The Ducks opened 0-3-1 and had failed to score more than two goals in any of those games. Chris Wag­ner and Corey Perry also scored to help the Ducks spoil Philadel­phia’s home opener.

Korbinian Holzer’s an­gled pass from be­hind the net led to Gar­butt’s one­timer that stunned Steve Ma­son for the win­ner.

Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read scored for the Fly­ers. The Fly­ers have lost all three games since win­ning on open­ing night and dropped to 27-16-6 life­time in home open­ers.

John Gib­son stopped 20 shots for the Ducks.

The Fly­ers ramped up the emo­tion Thurs­day night, kick­ing off the home opener at Wells Fargo Cen­ter by rec­og­niz­ing their 50th an­niver­sary sea­son, com­plete with a video slideshow of de­ceased former play­ers, coaches, staff and fam­ily mem­bers of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Coach Dave Hak­stol had talked about the need to chan­nel that emo­tional en­ergy into the game.

Bray­den Schenn needed no such push, since what was most play­ers’ fourth game of the sea­son was his first.

“It’s never fun watch­ing,” said top-line left wing Schenn, fresh off serv­ing a three-game sus­pen­sion dat­ing to the Game 6 loss of the play­off downer with the Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals last April.

“I’ve been out there for seven days, just prac­tic­ing and skat­ing and stuff like that, do­ing ex­tra work,” Schenn said. “I’m ex­cited to play tonight but I have to play the right way early on and not get in too much trou­ble. Like I said be­fore, put your head in the right spot, put your emo­tions in the right place and ev­ery­thing else will take care of it­self.”

Schenn took care of what seemed to be a fairly out­landish penalty from the league’s lords of dis­ci­pline for a hit he put on Cap­i­tal an­noy­ance T.J. Oshie in that last play­off game. Fly­ers gen­eral man­ager Ron Hex­tall and Schenn pon­dered an ap­peal but de­cided not to do so.

Schenn did put in a full train­ing camp, com­plete with ap­pear­ances in six ex­hi­bi­tion games. He spent the last week of the pre­sea­son prac­tic­ing be­fore serv­ing the sus­pen­sion.

For that rea­son, coach Dave Hak­stol had no prob­lem putting Schenn on the top line.

“I played with those guys long enough to know what they do night in and night out,” Schenn said of top-line and top power play mates Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds. “I know what to get from (Simmonds); he’s go­ing to be hard work­ing, up and down the ice. He’s go­ing to go to the net and he’s go­ing to make plays. Play­ing with (Giroux) you try to get the puck in his hands, and when he has it in his hands you try to get open.

“Hope­fully the three of us can get it go­ing early on tonight.”

Also paving the way for Schenn to step back into that spot was Michael Raffl’s mis­for­tune. Raffl had taken Schenn’s spot dur­ing the sus­pen­sion, only to be in­jured in Chicago Tues­day. He’s serv­ing what likely will be a two-week up­per body in­jury sen­tence. As for Schenn... “He’s worked hard here the last cou­ple of weeks to stay ready, so it’s nice to get him back in,” Hak­stol said. “He’s just got to come in and do his job. He’s com­ing in three games late here and ev­ery­body’s got a lit­tle head start on him in terms of reg­u­lar-sea­son level. But he’s worked hard and he’s ready to get back into the bat­tle.”

Three games into the sea­son, Matt Read, who was rel­e­gated to the fourth line early in train­ing camp, had got­ten off to a fast start. Read scored three goals on the road trip, two of them in a los­ing cause to the Black­hawks.

Read was given a grate­ful kick to the third line and has fit in well. Sprung on a nice chip pass from cen­ter Pierre-Edouard Belle­mare, he scored his fourth goal in four games mid­way through the home opener Thurs­day against the Ana­heim Ducks.

Four goals in four games. Eleven goals in 79 games a sea­son ago.

“I still be­lieve; I’m still a con­fi­dent player,” Read said. “I have to keep play­ing ... do­ing what I have to do out there and try­ing to make my line­mates bet­ter. Just try­ing to help this team win ev­ery night.”

Read said his stepped-up fit­ness plan with a per­sonal trainer in the off­sea­son, the first time he did that, has paid off.

“I worked ex­tra hard this sum­mer, do­ing a lot more con­di­tion­ing on the ice,” Read said. “I was out there two days a week from the be­gin­ning of June for 45 min­utes, with­out pucks, just skat­ing . ... High ve­loc­ity for 10 sec­onds, then 10-sec­ond break . ... I feel like I’m in just as good a shape as ever, maybe a lit­tle bit bet­ter.”

NOTES » Af­ter sit­ting out a game in fa­vor of Rus­sian free agent signee Ro­man Lyu­bi­mov, Nick Cousins was back in the lineup. Said Hak­stol: “No mat­ter what role we put him in, he finds a way to con­trib­ute. He’s not a guy we want to leave out of the lineup too long.” ... Also still out is de­fense­man Radko Gu­das, who has two more games to serve on his six-game sus­pen­sion.


Fly­ers goalie Steve Ma­son, left, de­fends as the Ducks’ Nick Ritchie, cen­ter and Fly­ers’ Ivan Provorov bat­tle for con­trol dur­ing the sec­ond period Thurs­day in Philadel­phia. Ana­heim won 3-2.

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