PITTSBURGH – Jake Voracek is coming of age.
The speedy 23-year-old winger has seven points in the two games since he has moved to the Flyers’ top line with Claude Giroux as his center. Voracek had his first career hat trick, including the game-winning goal with 1:31 left, in the Flyers’ riveting 6-5 win in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
“I think everyone knew he has the skills to do it, and sometimes it takes you time to realize where you get comfortable and can take advantage of the other team,” forward Danny Briere said. “I think he’s starting to realize that.”
Voracek, who has a team-high 18 points, became the second Flyer to notch a hat trick in Pittsburgh. The first: Bobby Clarke in 1980.
Read sidelined. There was a negative to the Flyers’ comeback victory: Winger Matt Read, who leads the team with seven goals, was sidelined with an unspecified injury after a first-period hit by Chris Kunitz. Read may have suffered a concussion.
GM Paul Holmgren said Read will be re-evaluated Thursday.
Tye McGinn figures to get back into the lineup Thursday against visiting Florida. Read had been playing on the top line with Giroux and Voracek.
Lavy’s timeout: After Pittsburgh took an early 1-0 lead, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette called a timeout and blasted his players.
“He’s pretty fiery,” said winger Wayne Simmonds after scoring a pair of goals. “He started yelling at guys and guys responded. He told everyone to wake up and we did.”
The Penguins “came out hard and we were just lax everywhere, to be honest with you _ faceoffs, forecheck, puck battles,” Laviolette said.
Offensive eruption: Since Giroux called out the team for its listless play in Montreal, the Flyers have erupted for a total of 13 goals in two games.
Briere answers: The Penguins’ Tanner Glass went on the Pittsburgh radio airways Wednesday morning and called Briere the dirtiest player in the NHL.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know who he was,” Briere said after the game. “It’s funny how a guy who has played maybe three years in the league thinks he can make comments like that.”
Glass played 6:37 on Wednesday and had nine penalty minutes.
Home at last: After finishing a 3-3 road trip, the Flyers will return to the Wells Fargo Center for a five-game homestand, which matches their longest of the season. The Flyers have played 12 of their first 18 games on the road.
Breakaways: Sidney Crosby’s line, which had been on a hot streak, was a combined minus-9…..Crosby (minus-3) won 12 of 17 faceoffs (71 percent) against Giroux…..Braydon Coburn had five shots, three blocks, two hits and an assist in 26:30….Giroux had a pair of assists….Has any goalie had a worse game this season than Pittsburgh’s flopping Tomas Vokoun on Wednesday?