The Philadelphia Flyers returned to their standard form last evening against the Buffalo Sabres and Ryan Miller at the Wells Fargo Center. I am still wrapping my head around the explosion of play that took place within the Flyers squad following the first two goals allowed in by Bryzgalov, early in the first.
Bryzgalov, who was been very mediocre in his first season in Philly, allowed fast goals in the first to Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek for the 2-0 lead. Pominville scored off a nice cross-ice pass from Tyler Myers and Vanek's slapper whizzed past Bryzgalov.
It was a rare dose of instant offense for a Sabres team that had scored only 132 goals, 26th in the NHL.
Bryzgalov was booed after letting in Vanek's goal and the Flyers were jeered off the ice into the first intermission.
That was the end of the fun for Buffalo, Jhonas Enroth...and Miller, basically. I do recall saying that Miller may have wanted to watch his mouth following the Boston shutout...maybe the pay back came in Philly.
Wayne Simmonds scored two goals after he was hit in the face in warm-ups and Max Talbot also scored twice, leading the Philadelphia Flyers to a 7-2 victory. He wore a full face shield for protection.
Erik Gustafsson scored his first career NHL goal as part of a four-goal second period for the Flyers, this served as 'bail' for Bryzgalov and the early two goals against.
Jakub Voracek and Scott Hartnell added goals in the third for the Flyers to turn this one into a slaying battle--would have been even sweeter if it was a shutout, but this fan still loved every minute of it.
Claude Giroux contributed to the tally with five assists for the evening.
Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth was yanked after allowing three straight goals. Ryan Miller allowed one to Gustafsson, giving the Flyers four goals on their first 10 shots of the period. Has the carousel landed in Buffalo?
I do recall Miller also being pulled within the first seven minutes of play last season inPhiladelphia, after Hartnell scored the fourth goal in the first period alone. No revenge for Miller this past Thursday evening.
Talbot made it 2-2 when he redirected Braydon Coburn's shot only 54 seconds into the period. Simmonds scored off a rebound for a power-play goal to tie the game, and then put them ahead with his 20th.
Voracek's sweet drop pass to Gustafsson for the goal made it 4-2 and those boos had turned into a roaring ovation from another packed house.
All goals were amazing to witness as this type of explosive play has eluded this team all season; however, the best scoring action transpired when Talbot scored again in the third period--and within seconds flat, the public address announcer was still announcing Talbot's goal--when Voracek fired another shot past Miller that I am still not sure he even saw coming! It did bring me to my feet at home inFlorida.
Hartnell scored his team-high 27th goal and the slaying tally was in full blast.
The Flyers have acquired a prospect I thought might come to town in the Swedish defenseman Nicklas Grossman fromDallas. The deal was made in exchange for a 2012 second-round pick and a 2013 third-round pick. Grossman, 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, has five assists in 52 games this season.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said there is no timetable for van Riemsdyk's return. He has been out a month with a concussion. "I think now it just comes down to how James is feeling and when he feels ready," Holmgren said. This fan is just glad JVR was not the bargaining chip...kid has a lot of potential.
Now with the defense added to...let's return to the Flyers hockey all our fans have come to know and love.
Flyers face the Pens next. The game is slated for: Sat. Feb. 18, 2012 @ 1:00PM at Wells Fargo Center, televised on CSN. Bring on the Pens! GO FLYERS!!!