After he took part in the morning skate Tuesday in Buffalo, Flyers winger Matt Read still sounded skeptical about returning to the lineup.
Read said he didn’t want to return too soon and be out even longer.
But Read, who missed six games with a concussion, played that night and after not having any setbacks in the 4-3 victory, you could sense that his confidence had grown.
“I felt good. I thought I would be out of shape,” Read said after a practice session Wednesday in Voorhees. “I was well-rested. My legs were good. Things kind of went my way a little bit. It’s one game and we have a lot more to go and I have a lot more things to do to help my teammates.”
He helped them immensely Tuesday, pouncing on a rebound at the side of the net and calmly finding Vinny Lecavalier in the left circle for a one-timer that snapped a 3-3 tie with 14.8 seconds left.
“He skated well and made a nice play on the game-winning goal,” coach Craig Berube said.
Read, who has 10 goals in 40 games, said he stayed in shape while sidelined.
“You’ve got to do a lot of stuff off the ice when you are not playing,” he said. “I took care of my body better than I have in the past, just riding the bike, a lot more cardio and knowing when you come back you want to play 20 minutes in all situations _ and you have to do everything you can so when it comes back to when you are in the lineup, you can be a role player and do your job.”
In his first game back, Read played on a line with Sean Couturier and Lecavalier and he was used in all situations. He played 18:42 _ and led all Flyer forwards by playing 3:43 on the penalty kill, which was 4 for 4 and has killed 30 of the last 31.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull. Staff writer Marc Narducci contributed to this report.