Bryz Breaks Beezer's Record; Earns Two More Points
Making Ilya Bryzgalov the story for every game has become tiresome to the fans, the front office and Bryzgalov himself.
But when he does something as special as he's done the past couple of weeks, it's hard to just take all the focus away from the Russian netminder, nicknamed the $51 Million Man.
The Flyers have been winning, and they have been playing a brand of hockey many expected them to play down the stretch. Scoring, defense and goaltending - those are the three things that win championships.
So why does the focus all come back to Bryzgalov? Because of the franchise shutout streak that he just broke that stood tall for 13 years midway through the second period.
For 249:43 minutes, Bryzgalov kept the puck out of the net (John Vanbiesbrouck kept the puck out of his own net for 227:40 in 1999). Though he didn't finish the game with a shutout, it was once again Bryzgalov's performance that gave the Flyers a 3-2 win over the Islanders Thursday night.
The Flyers got some surprising offense from their fourth-line body banger Zac Rinaldo. Rinaldo scored on a whacky angle from the goal line, redeeming his missed open net on Tuesday.
Then the top line took over. Claude Giroux scored his 26th goal of the season in the first period off a pretty one-timer set up by none other than Jaromir Jagr.
The banger of the trio, Scott Hartnell, scored his team-high 33rd goal in the second period on a breakaway set up by Kimmo Timonen's home run pass.
Speaking of milestones, Hartnell reached a personal milestone on the night as well. His 33rd goal was his 71st point of the season, breaking his career high of 70 set in 2009.
Hartnell also fell for the 300th time on the year, a more humorous milestone made possible thanks to Seth Hastings (@sethdh) on Twitter last season.
It was an offensive display the Flyers were looking for. Though they were outshot by the Islanders, 31-22, they put up quality chances and made Evgeni Nabakov look foolish once again.
Bryzgalov saw his shutout streak end late in the third period. Michael Grabner finally put the puck past Bryzgalov on a redirection, cutting the Flyers lead to 3-1. But in the blink of an eye, the Islanders made it a 3-2 game thanks to Jonathan Tavares getting position over Braydon Coburn and burying it past Bryzgalov.
But it came down to Bryzgalov in the end and he got the Flyers a very important two points. Because in the end, it's not about Bryz, but about the crest on his sweater.