Bryzgalov Backs Up Comments; Rock Solid During PK, Shoot-Out
The Flyers had five minutes of overtime to work with in hopes to not allow the game to carry to a shoot-out.
What many consider to be a glorified skills competition, the Flyers have considered their lack of success in the final determination of the second point to be a nightmare. It's been especially hard on Ilya Bryzgalov, who was going to be the netminder of choice in the Flyers dance with chance.
Bryzgalov allowed the first goal to go in, being beaten by New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk. The shot rung off of all three posts before being deposited into the net.
But the next two shooters, David Clarkson and Patrik Elias, were forced into taking wide shots by Bryzgalov. On the other end, Devils goalie Johan Hedberg allowed two pucks to slide through his five-hole and the Flyers won the game in a shoot-out, 2-1, earning two very important points.
It was also a huge win for Bryzgalov, who is a career 62.9% successful in the shoot-outs.
"You would like to think for everyone, especially Bryzgalov," said head coach Peter Laviolette. "I don’t think it was just the shoot-out. His game was solid from the start to the end, which includes the shootout. It includes the players as well. It was one game and we need to win more. It is something to build off of."
Bryzgalov came up big for the Flyers in general, stopping 27 shots in the win. He was especially under pressure in the third period and over time, stopping all 11 shots he faced while his team was out-shot and out-played 11-5.
The effort was especially big after the comments Bryzgalov made the days following last Sunday's win over Bufalo.
Bryzgalov stated the Flyers would be done if they got swept by New Jersey in the home-and-home. He stood behind those comments, despite having a lot of people breathing down his neck to perform well after making the comments.
No, I don’t [feel the pressure]," Bryzgalov said. "I just know the value of every game and every point."
In the first period, Philadelphia was faced with a 5-on-3 penalty kill. While on the power play, both Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds made costly penalties, ending their man-advantage and giving New Jersey a huge chance to tie the game.
Bryzgalov made four saves in that two-minute span, preserving the lead. He did so once again late in the third period with New Jersey on the power play.
"Yeah, it was early in the game so a lot can happen from there on in but I think it gave us confidence for the rest of the night especially on the penalty kill so you know guys were sacrificing and blocking shots and sometimes the little things go unnoticed but that ends in a good result usually," Luke Schenn said.
In the third, Brayden Schenn took a bad charging penalty, setting New Jersey up with a chance to take both point away from the Flyers. Bryzgalov again stood tall, carrying the effort over into over time.
Bryzgalov's greatest efforts came in over time though.
With under two minutes left, Patrik Elias fired a shot that Bryzgalov stopped with his right pad. Elias then fired another shot that Bryzgalov stopped with the blocker and a mad scramble ensued.
Bryzalov was knocked on his back with the puck lying innocently at his feet. Marek Zidlicky tried to flip the puck up over Bryzgalov but it was blocked by the blade of his skate landed on top of him before he covered it with his blocker hand.
The Flyers carried the momentum into the shoot-out and they managed to come away with the points. After the game, Bryzgalov was asked a rather silly question by CSN's Tim Panaccio, who wanted to know if Bryzgalov thought he would never win another shoot-out.
"I guess it’s the first this season," Bryzgalov said.