Out of the Woods: Flyers dominate Canes 5-1
The Philadelphia Flyers snapped a two-game losing streak by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 5-1.
Over the course of the previous two games, goaltender Ilya Brzgalov had allowed nine goals on 38 shots. On Saturday, he would return to form by stopping all but one of the 25 shots he faced.
Philadelphia opened the scoring when Scott Hartnell scored his fourth goal of the season.
Hartnell had just finished serving a high-sticking penalty when Carolina tried to move out of their own zone. Claude Giroux got in the way of the breakout pass and moved to the front of the net.
Following a masterful sequence of stick handling, Giroux dropped a no-look pass between his legs to a driving Hartnell who would put the puck, as well as himself, into the open net.
A diving play by Hartnell would also lead to Carolina tying the score.
Three minutes into the second period, the Hurricanes broke into the Flyers zone with a two-on-one opportunity. Carolina would attempt a cross-crease pass that Bryzgalov would turn away with ease.
At the same time, Hartnell was back-checking and believed that his only option was to dive to disrupt the Hurricanes attack.
Unfortunately, he only disrupted Bryzgalov and left a wide-open net for the Hurricanes to shoot at.
It would be Bryzgalov’s only blemish of the night.
"He tried to help," the goaltender said in reference to Hartnell. “It doesn't matter shutout or not, we won the game."
On Wednesday night in Montreal, the Flyers had allowed the Canadiens back into the game after a bad goal.
The Hurricanes would not be so lucky.
The team immediately established an offensive attack at the beginning of the third. After getting the puck deep in the Carolina zone, the Hurricanes tried to force the puck up the boards.
Giroux intercepted the clear and sent another no-look pass to slot. This time he found Jaromir Jagr who would promptly find the back of the net.
He would go on to add another goal, the second time in four games that he would score two goals in a game.
Following an interference penalty, the Flyers would strike again.
Carolina was working the Flyers zone when Max Talbot blocked a shot at the point. Giroux quickly turned the puck up ice and attacked the Hurricanes net with Talbot at his side.
Patiently waiting on the defense to make a move, Giroux fired a shot high on Boucher that left the former Flyer frozen in place.
Talbot followed up on the rebound and took advantage of the paralyzed goalie giving the Flyers a 3-1 lead.
Two minutes later, Giroux would break up the left side of the ice, power to the net and execute an amazing shot that would officially put the game out of reach.
Following the game, all eyes were on the Flyers net minder.
Bryzgalov was adamant after the Flyers most recent loss to Winnipeg that he was playing terrible and made it clear that he had little confidence.
What helped him turn his game around so quickly?
"Believe it or not I just spent a couple of days in the steam room,” he said. “You need to fix your head and turn the switch on and go."
Bryzgalov played strong on Saturday. He followed the puck well and remained calm in net. Prior to the third, the goalie made several saves that kept the Flyers in control of the game.
He certainly seemed to regain confidence in his play.
But what everyone really wanted to know; did he find his way out of the woods?
“Yeah, I found the way very quick, huh?” the goalie said with a smile. “It was [my] iPhone compass."