Flyers,Bryz On A Roll As They Hunt For Fourth Against Panthers
After not winning back-to-back games since early January, the Philadelphia Flyers (37-21-7) have managed to string together a three-game winning streak.
They will look to extend that streak to four tonight when they face the Florida Panthers (31-22-12) in front of the Philly home crowd.
This is the Flyers third, three-game winning streak of the season. The team has had only one other winning streak; a seven-game streak that spanned from December 2 to December 15. That streak came to an end on the 17th when the team was romped 6-0 in an afternoon matchup with the Boston Bruins.
Their current streak is a direct result from the elevated play in their defensive zone along with the quality goaltending they have received fromthe last couple of games.
He is 4-1 in his last five, which includes a shutout against the Washington Capitals, and has a Goals Against Average of two during that span.
A few of things have happened that could have helped bring Bryzgalov back to form:
There was the addition of Niklas Grossmann and Pavel Kubina who took a little time adjusting to the Flyers system, but have both been welcome additions in more ways than one. When both are in the lineup the Flyers are 5-2 and have brought size and steadiness to the back end.
There also was meeting that was called by the leadership team, explaining to Bryzgalov what is expected of him as a Philadelphia Flyer and as a teammate.
There is a lot to be said when you are confronted by a peer, someone who is in the trenches with you night after night, it forces you to man up and take a hard look at yourself, which may have just been the case with this meeting.
The Flyers have also given Bryzgalov more games in a row, with tonight possibly being his tenth consecutive start.
The team has apparently decided to ride him out of his funk giving him a chance to regain his confidence. He played over 60 games per season with Phoenix and may need that type of workload to keep him on his game.
Maybe he is use to having sub-par defense in front of him and may expect more from a better Flyers defense than he did in Phoenix.
Ironically his best game of the season was his most recent against the Detroit Red Wings where he stopped 37 shots with Kimmo Timonen and Brayden Couburn out of the linep.
What do you think helped spark Bryzgalov's recent resurgence?
This is the third meeting of four between these two teams and the first in Philadelphia. The Flyers won both previous meetings in Florida, the last coming in overtime.
The Panthers are in first place in the Southeast Division, leading the Winnipeg Jets by just two points and the third place Washington Capitals by four.
The road team has won seven of the last eight meetings between the Flyers and Panthers.
The Flyers will need to stay out of the box as the Panthers bring their tenth ranked power play to Philly tonight.
Flyers penalty kill is ranked 21st in the league while the Panthers are ranked 24th.
Face-offs will be another challenge for the Flyers as it is most nights; the Panthers are tenth in the league in the face-off circle.
Danny Briere has been held scoreless for 20 games, his longest streak of his career in a single season. While in Buffalo he had a 19 game scoreless streak that went on for 12 more games the following season for a total of 31.
Claude Giroux is third in the league in points with 77
Bryzgalov has a 2.15 goals against average in his last 10 games
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