Bryz and the boyz shutout the Florida Panther 5-0 at home last night! Enough said? I think not...
What a game at the Wells Fargo Center last night! Nothing more refreshing than to see our Flyers back to the form we all know they held the potential to reach--all across the board and against the odds of a heavy injured list at the moment. Hats off to the rookies and to the new 'call-ups' from the AHL for playing on home ice like they were 'seasoned' veterans. Solid all-around contributions across that bench and great to see!
Bryzgalov looked amazing last night and thrilled to say that he indeed looked the most comfortable and natural in that net against Florida. The defense is doing their job by playing most effectively in front of him; add the scoring guns that are loaded and firing some of the strongest drives and shots seen thus far in this regular season.
That is exactly how you win four in a row (three of those at home)...and shutout your opponents at home 5-0!
All pistons are firing in a healthy, team-based sense and to the rest of the NHL..."HERE WE COME!" After witnessing this team play hard, early on, the last two seasons and fade late--now it has all paid off witnessing their struggles the first half of this season. We are stronger than ever, capitalizing and strengthening with each game for the coming playoffs.
Let us just hope the Panthers handle the Pens this next stop on their PA tour, to 'boost' us some there. The victory moved the Flyers within two points of fourth-place Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 28 saves on 28 shots to record his second shutout in three games (fourth overall) and sealed a solid, well-played win over the Panthers.
Brayden Schenn, Matt Read, Scott Hartnell, Jaromir Jagr and Eric Wellwood all scored for the Flyers. Mr. Read now leads the NHL in Rookie goals scored and witnessing his form, there is no question as to why he holds this title. Bryzgalov has finally played like the goalie the Flyers expected when they signed him this past summer. After struggling much of the season, he's 7-2 with a 2.10 goals-against average while making 10 straight starts. He has indeed proven himself to the City of Brotherly Love and for a change, he is receiving the same in return from the fans.
The Flyers squad gave it heavy to Theodore in the Panther net all 60 minutes and to great dividends.
Schenn gave the Flyers a rare 1-0 lead midway through the first period when he scored on the power play. Claude Giroux slid the puck across the ice from the left face-off circle to Schenn, who was in the right circle. The puck skipped by Hartnell, who whiffed on a shot attempt. Schenn then one-timed it past Jose Theodore as the Flyers scored first for just the second time in 12 games.
Read put the Flyers up 2-0 early in the second period with his rookie-leading 19th goal of the season. Danny Briere, looking for his first goal in two months, got two solid shots at Theodore, and Read poked in the rebound off the second one.
Some fans are complaining that Briere has not 'contributed' as of late, due to his not scoring now in 21 games(since January 7th); however, keep in mind that he was firing hard last night and did contribute with an assist on Read's goal--so, he is present and playing well. This game is not only about goals scored.
Briere nearly snapped his drought later in the period when he backhanded a shot toward an open net, but defenseman Jason Garrison slid across the crease and made the save.
Hartnell scored a breakaway goal to make it 3-0 later in the second. Hartnell stole a pass in Philadelphia's zone, outskated two trailing Panthers and snapped a wrist shot past Theodore. Hartnell registered his 60th point, tying his career best. He extended his career-high goals to 32. Scotty has been a consistent contributor since the season began.
Jagr's power-play goal made it 4-0 in the third. He fired a wicked slap shot through a screen for his 18th goal. It was great seeing Jagr back after his leaving the game early Tuesday with a hip issue; for 40 he sure bouncesback nicely.
If this squad simply continues to rush any opponents net as hard as against the Panthers, without any hesitation; keep the defense going the way it has been since the trade deadline--and Bryz continues on his newly found 'comfort zone' there is no reason we cannot have the best playoff run since making the Cup Finals against the Blackhawks in 2010.
Bryzgalov impressed with looking consistent and strong thorugh all three periods of play...facing down any shotsthe Panthers threw his way and chalks up his fourth shutout of this season thus far.
'Welcome' to the fresh AHL 'call-ups', keep it up. Our rookies need to continue to improve and impress, keep our defense healthy and simply allow for our 'guns' to fire and we are on our way.
Next up for the Flyers is a stop in Toronto, where things have been 'shaken up' lately. Here's to a quick scoring'fly-by' and another win notched on our record. This game is slated for Saturday evening @ 7:00 PM; then it's a Jersey stop--facing the Devils on Sunday evening, in Jersey @ 7:00 PM. The Jersey tour finishes in the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday evening--again puck drops @ 7:00 PM.
So here's to the Panthers rebounding against the Penguins, and to a Flyers hat trick win this weekend. Taking both games against the Devils would be twice as sweet, seeing as we just passed them in the standings most recently. GO FLYERS!!!