Better With Popcorn

Bryz-Fortunate: Bryzgalov Finally Trumps In Shootout

For much of the season, the shootout has not been very friendly to the Flyers, especially goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

But for one night, the planets aligned for Bryzgalov and the Flyers.

A big blocker stop, a pad stack, and left-handed larceny all came out of Bryzgalov's bag of tricks as he won his first shoot out of the season. It was Matt Read's snipe in round five that capped off the Flyers 5-4 come-from-behind win.

The first half of the game resembled the Flyers heartless outing on Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers; a game in which they dropped 2-0 against one of the weakest teams in the Western Conference.

For over a period and a half of play, the Flyers lacked any type of inspiration. Poor penalty killing, weak play from Bryzgalov and a bad turnover on the power play led to a quick 3-0 lead for the Flames.

Bryzgalov was beat early again on the power play. Less than four minutes into the game, Mike Giordano ripped a shot past Bryzgalov to give the Flames a quick 1-0 lead.

Less than two minutes later, Matt Stajan beat the Russian netminder on a shot he should have stopped to give the Flames a 2-0 lead and Flyers fans a sick feeling in their stomachs.

Head coach Peter Laviolette called a quick timeout and hoped to get his troops rallied. It worked as the Flyers out-worked the Flames for the rest of the period and pretty much the whole game, out-shooting Calgary 45-21.

But poor puck-handling and communication between Bryzgalov and the defense led to Tom Kostopoulos' goal in early in the second period to give the Flames a commanding 3-0 lead.

With all seemed lost, the Flyers found a spark and got themselves back in the game. And as quickly as they fell behind 3-0, they climbed back to tie the game up. 

With less than five minutes to go in the 2nd period, Jake Voracek found the back of the net off a turnover to make it a 3-1 game. It was the first Flyers goal in nearly five periods of play.

With just over half a minute left in the period, Braydon Coburn launched a shot towards the net that bounced off a Flame and found twine to make it a 3-2 game.

The third period brought about more fortunes, this time from Coburn's partner at the blue line, Kimmo Timonen. Timonen's blast from the point hit Scott Hartnell on the way to the net, finally getting past Flames goalie Mikka Kiprusoff to tie the game with over 12 minutes left.

But the tables swung back in Calgary's favor when Alex Tanguay was awarded a penalty shot. Though Bryzgalov made the initial save, Tanguay made a pretty move to beat Bryzgalov to take a 4-3 lead.

Every push has a shove and the Flyers shoved back. This time it was Nick Grossman who slung a shot towards the net that found it's way through the screens to tie the game, four-apiece.

Andrej Meszaros nearly put the game away before the overtime period ended, but he fanned on his shot and it went into the dreaded shoot-out.

But Bryzgalov stood tall in net, stopping four out of five shooters faced and Claude Giroux and Read scored in the third and fifth rounds to win the game for the Flyers.


John Russo's picture

I wrote this with booze in my system. My professionalism is showing.