Simmonds Score Two; Flyers Down Oilers, Bryz in Shootout
Just four minutes into the hockey game, it already seemed as if Ilya Bryzgalov was on his way to exacting revenge on his former team.
But there were 56 more minutes of hockey, and the Flyers didn't allow that to happen. Sparked by Wayne Simmonds' two-goal night, the Flyers came back to win in a shootout, 4-3, over Edmonton Saturday night.
Simmonds now leads the Flyers with 12 goals. Just three games ago, he had only half of that total.
It was the third consecutive multi-goal game for Simmonds, a feat that was done for just the fourth time in franchise history. The last to do it was Reggie Leach from Oct. 11 to Oct. 15, 1981.
It was also the fifth straight game Simmonds has scored in (seven goal, two assists in that span), and one shy of a six-game scoring streak he had in Los Angeles from Nov. 25 to Dec. 5 in 2009.
Just 36 seconds into the game, Taylor Hall stole the puck from Braydon Coburn in the Flyers zone and beat Steve Mason point-blank to make it 1-0. Three and a half minutes later, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored on a shot Mason should have had to make it 2-0.
The Flyers woke up midway through the first period, putting pressure on their former teammate. But Bryzgalov made a few nice saves to keep the Flyers off the board.
Philadelphia kept the pressure up in the second, and finally found one of Bryzgalov's major weaknesses - lateral movement.
While on the powerplay, Jakub Voracek passed to Claude Giroux, setting up a one-timer. Giroux's shot was deflected by Simmonds in front of the net and passed Bryzgalov to cut the Oilers lead in half.
Later in the period, and again on the powerplay, Simmonds received a beautiful pass from Voracek and beat a sliding Bryzgalov to tie the game up.
Midway through the third, Edmonton got back on the board with David Perron's 16th of the season.
With over five minutes left in the game, Scott Hartnell tied it up on a 5-on-3 advantage. Giroux set up a one-timer with Kimmo Timonen at the point, and Hartnell got a piece of the shot to tie the game up.
Following the goal, a frustrated Bryzgalov threw his stick up in the air. It was one of many obvious signs of disappointment he showed throughout the game when letting up a goal.
Earlier in the second period, Bryzgalov clearly said something to Perron after making a sprawling save. He then laid on the ice for several seconds after Simmonds' second goal.
The game went into overtime, and after a winner wasn't decided there, it went to a shootout, and area where Bryzgalov struggles.
Perron scored for Edmonton, and Vincent Lecavalier missed. That would be the only shootout save Bryzgalov made as Giroux and Michael Raffl both beat him while Mason made two saves to earn Philadelphia a second point.