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.

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