- Associated Press - Saturday, March 15, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - If the Flyers continue to play as well as they did on Saturday, they’ll have little trouble making the playoffs.

Matt Read scored a pair of goals to lift the Flyers to a convincing 4-0 victory over the short-handed Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

“We were looking for a game like that a long time ago where we make sure that everybody follows the game plan and everybody plays 60 minutes,” said Flyers captain Claude Giroux, who had a pair of assists. “It feels pretty good.”

Scott Hartnell and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for Philadelphia, which is in the middle of a tightly bunched pack of teams battling for a playoff spot.


The Penguins, who are comfortably atop the Metropolitan Division, were shut out for the fourth time this season.

Pittsburgh played without its third- and fourth-leading scorers, Chris Kunitz (lower body) and James Neal (concussion). The Flyers neutralized Pittsburgh stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

“They did a lot of what we expected,” Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. “We weren’t able to handle it, and in all aspects of the game we weren’t good.”

Besides Kunitz and Neal, the Penguins continued to be without top winger Pascal Dupuis (knee) and defensemen Kris Letang (stroke) and Paul Martin (hand).

But Bylsma wouldn’t use injuries as an excuse.

“We have capable guys, guys who have done well for us before,” he said. “We have to find ways to win within our roles regardless of who’s in there. We weren’t able and ready to do that today.”

Philadelphia played like the first-place team in a matchup between two the league’s top rivals.

“We want to finish higher and want home-ice advantage,” Giroux said. “It’s there for us to take but we have to keep playing like this.”

The Flyers came out with a high-energy attack from the opening faceoff in one of their best efforts of the season.

Steve Mason made 25 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and 23rd of his career.

“Everything felt very under control,” Mason said.

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