Archive | 10:32 PM

Flyers Get Bryzgalov A Win In Return To Phoenix

3 Dec

They didn’t want to make the same mistake again. After coming out flat on Friday night, the Flyers were blazing on Saturday, scoring four first-period goals en route to a 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Ilya Bryzgalov returned to the city he called home for four seasons and his teammates helped him feel comfortable early on. He was tested, but he passed by making big saves early in the contest. Bryzgalov came out of his net to make saves, controlled rebounds better than he had and came up with a few big kick saves and glove saves.

What got the Flyers going early was their power play. They had three goals on the man advantage on Friday and got another two on Saturday. With Raffi Torres in the box for an illegal check to the head, Matt Read took a fortunate bounce on the back boards and ripped a shot past Mike Smith from the left-wing circle.

Wayne Simmonds added his first point in eight games on a goal that he batted out of mid air later in the first. Claude Giroux took a one-timer that looked like a replay of Friday’s game-winning goal to put the Flyers up three.

The power play struck again when Scott Hartnell did some dirty work in the Phoenix crease. At that point, the Flyers were 2-for-2 on the power play. Previously, the Coyotes hadn’t allowed a power play goal at Arena in their last seven home games.

Jason LaBarbera relieved Smith to start the second period and it got the Coyotes going a little. A bouncing pass from Radim Vrbata fount Ray Whitney in the slot 7:15 into the period. His shot beat Bryzgalov through traffic to get Phoenix on the board. However, Bryzgalov continued to stand strong. He made 12 saves on 13 shots in the middle stanza.

The Flyers applied better pressure in the third, but were still on their heels, anticipating the Phoenix comeback attempt. However, thanks to their defense and most importantly Bryzgalov, it never really happened. With 40 seconds left, the Coyotes added another goal, but it was a deflection on a Keith Yandle point shot. Bryzgalov made 11 saves in the third period and finished his night with 36.

Not only did the team keep its foot on the pedal, but Bryzgalov was also sharp from beginning to end. His re-emergence is almost as important as the two points the Flyers gained in the standings.


Flyers Use Comeback To Top Anaheim In Overtime

3 Dec

It’s becoming a recurrent theme for the orange and black. They take a little longer than they should to show up and in the end it costs them two points. But on Friday night, the Flyers overcame a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 in overtime on a Claude Giroux power play goal.

The Flyers will travel 11,718 miles in December, but they looked tired very early in Bruce Boudreau’s debut as Ducks coach. His team came out hitting, skating hard and shooting. That desperation was something the Flyers claimed to be ready for, but it beat them in the first period.

It was easy to see how the Flyers were outhustled, even on the penalty kill. Saku Koivu found Andrew Cogliano who was ahead of two Flyers defenders and Beat Ilya Bryzgalov with a one-handed shot through the goalie’s five hole. Bryzgalov made a weak attempt at a pokecheck and gave the Duck the opening. It was the eighth power play goal the Flyers have allowed in their last six games.

Later in the period, Koivu struck again. He slid a pass between the legs of Braydon Coburn and right to the tape of Teemu Selanne who scored easily when neither Coburn nor Bryzgalov knew he was there.

The Flyers were happy to hear the horn sound after the first 20 minutes and came out with a better effort in the second period. They were finally able to sustain some pressure on a power play after going 0-for-3 in the first. Kimmo Timonen took a shot from the point with Francois Beauchemin. Jaromir Jagr tipped it in for his first goal since Nov. 5.

In the third period, the Flyers were able to fully compensate for the poor first-period effort. With a two-man advantage, the Flyers cashed in. Timonen and Jagr played catch at the high slot and eventually Jagr one-timed a rocket past Jonas Hiller to make it a one-goal game.

With three minutes remaining, it looked like the outpouring of pressure from the Flyers would be all for naught. But they found the back of Hiller’s net when Timonen made a pass to Scott Hartnell that the winger one-timed up high to beat the Anaheim goalie.

In the extra session, the Flyers got lucky when Ryan Getzlaf not only brought down Jakub Voracek, but also complained about the call. That earned him an extra two minutes and gave the Flyers a power play for nearly all of overtime. Once they got set up, they won the game on a Claude Giroux shot from the slot.

In Boudreau’s NHL coaching debut, his Washington Capitals beat the Flyers 4-3 in overtime. This time around, the Flyers returned the favor and in the process survived yet another bad first period. This time, it worked. Next time? They’ll worry about that when the time comes.