Flyers Powerplay, Bryzgalov Come Alive In 5-3 Win Over Carolina
The Flyers were a dismal 5-for-40 on the powerplay heading into the game, good for 24th in the league at 12.5%.
That number increased after the Flyers' offensive outburst with the man advantage and it helped them snap a three-game losing streak with their 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday night.
The Flyers went 3-for-3 on the power play, by far their best special teams effort of the season.
On the Flyers' first power play attempt, Sean Couturier cycled the puck to Matt Read, who sent it over to Kurtis Foster. Foster completed the tic-tac-toe with a slap shot from the high left circle, beating Dan Ellis to make it 1-0.
Joni Pitkanen tied the game with a wrister a few minutes later, beating Ilya Bryzgalov after being left alone.
The end of the first period presented some exciting back-and-forth play. Jakub Voracek raced in on a breakaway and was stoned by Ellis. But Braydon Coburn came in on the trail, putting the rebound into the back of the net to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead.
Less than a minute later, Jussi Jokinen got called for a slash and it put the Flyers on their second power play. The Flyers capitalized when Danny Briere scored his first goal of the season to make it 3-1.
But loose play allowed the Canes to cut the lead in half when Luke Schenn's giveaway set up Eric Staal's goal to make it 3-2.
The Flyers were able to run Ellis from the game early in the second period when Mike Knuble banged home a rebound goal to make it a 4-2 game. It was Knuble's first goal as a Flyers since the 2009 playoffs.
The Flyers added their third and final power play tally midway through the second when Claude Giroux found the net to make it 5-2. It was Giroux's third goal of the season, and first tally since January 20 against Buffalo.
After Giroux's goal, the Flyers went into prevent defense mode, nearly costing them the three-goal lead.
The Flyers were scorched in the shot department in the last two periods, being out-shot 29-13. Overall, Carolina won the shots battle 42-24.
Besides the special teams, the other difference in the game turned out to be the goaltending. Bryzgalov out-performed both Ward and Ellis, who gave up a combined five goals on 24 shots.
While holding a 5-2 lead, the Flyers then went into defensive mode, putting a lot of pressure on Bryzgalov. But the Russian netminder didn't fold under the pressure, standing tall to make 39 saves in the win.