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Mason, Flyers blank Penguins
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Read tallied two goals and Steve Mason earned the shutout as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-0, in the opener of a weekend home-and-home set.
Scott Hartnell and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Flyers, who snapped a two-game skid. Claude Giroux kept up his frantic point pace with two assists and now has 21 points in his last 14 games.
Mason made 25 saves for his fourth shutout of the season.
"Going into this hockey game, we needed the two points more than they did, and the guys really went out and earned it," Mason said. "From my standpoint, everything was just very controlled, from our breakouts to our backchecking, end zone play everything just felt very under control the whole game."
Marc-Andre Fleury allowed all four goals on 40 shots as the Penguins' three- game win streak came to an end.
The teams will meet again on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh.
Philadelphia opened the scoring 3:50 into the first on the power play. Giroux took a pass from Wayne Simmonds and moved to the edge of the left circle. He slipped a pass over to Hartnell, who one-timed the puck off Brook Orpik's stick and Fleury's arm into the back of the net.
Less than five minutes later, Read added a short-handed marker when he snapped a shot over the shoulder of Fleury.
"They are good at the power play and we gave them that opportunity. They cashed in on it to get the lead and a short-handed goal against is the two goals in the first period," said Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma. "We expected them to come hard like that with their forecheck early in the game and they did. We didn't handle it."
Mason stopped all seven shots he faced in the first period and turned aside 11 more in the second. His teammates added a pair of goals in the middle stanza for a comfortable margin.
Luke Schenn found Lecavalier entering the offensive zone with a long stretch pass. Lecavalier was hooked while moving in on the breakaway, but was still able to lift the puck over Fleury to give the Flyers a 3-0 edge with six minutes left in the second.
Read scored his second of the game on a nice passing play. Sean Couturier stripped Orpik of the puck in the defensive zone and moved up the ice with a 3-on-1 break. After dropping a pass back to Giroux, he got the puck back and found Read on the left side of the net for the goal and a 4-0 advantage with 17 seconds remaining in the stanza.
Mason needed to make just seven stops in the third to complete the shutout.
Pittsburgh's Brandon Sutter played in his 400th NHL game ... Penguins forward Chris Kunitz was a late scratch after warmups. He hurt his leg in Tuesday's game against Washington and missed practice Thursday ... Pittsburgh was 4-0-1 in its last five trips to Philadelphia entering the contest ... The Flyers honored Hall of Fame coach and Penguins GM Ray Shero's father, Fred Shero, prior to the game with a statue dedication across from the Wells Fargo Center ... The Flyers are now 24-5-4 when scoring first.
03/15 17:18:42 ET
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