Bryzgalov's Bounce-Back Effort Fuels Win over Jets
24 saves by Ilya Bryzgalov, a rejuvenated defensive effort and two assists by Jakub Voracek propelled the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
The Jets swarmed the Flyers early. Amongst a deafening chorus of "Il-ya" chants from the Winnipeg faithful, a bank off the end boards took an odd hop and Bryzgalov stretched out to make a great save on Bryan Little to keep the game scoreless early.
One would think a struggling power play that couldn't dent the Maple Leafs on a 5 minute major the night prior facing the Jets' league-worst PK would be a cureall for the problems.
The first power play came after a composed play by Zac Rinaldo to draw a penalty on NHL-newcomer Anthony Peluso, who bit on the agitator's antics. The man advantage created no scoring chances nor shots on goal.
As play returned to five on five, the Flyers got on the board first. Voracek aptly set up Brayden Schenn who applied the drive-by tip to put it past Jets goaltender Al Montoya to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
The Jets capitalized on a few Flyers mistakes minutes later. After a miss by Matt Read to Ruslan Fedotenko on a 2-on-1 rush while shorthanded, Blake Wheeler took the puck to the other end, twisted a no-look pass to Andrew Ladd who applied a beautiful tip to tie it at 1 apiece.
On a later power play, there was puck movement and success. Captain Claude Giroux set up Kimmo Timonen for the blast to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead. It was Giroux's first point since assisting on a goal by Voracek on February 7 vs. Florida three games ago.
Rough stuff started the second period. Tye McGinn dropped the mitts with Mark Stuart. Stuart lit McGinn up with a few punches, but McGinn dropped Stuart with a flurry of fists, taking him to the ice.
The game continued to stay chippy. Rinaldo drew another call on Peluso. Byfuglien chopped Wayne Simmonds after a play was blown dead. Scrums ensued after many stoppages.
Late in the period, Bryzgalov held the Flyers on top singlehanded. He stopped several scoring chances including three from Kane in a 40 second span.
The Jets decided to pull Montoya after the second intermission, replacing him with regular starter Ondrej Pavelec. He was warmly greeted to the game early.
The Flyers had only scored six third period goals throughout the entire season to this point. That number improved after Voracek pounced on a Stuart turnover and fed a rifle pass to McGinn to score his third goal of the year and provide the Flyers some insurance.
Andrew Ladd scored his second goal of the game late in the third with a tap in at the side of the net. Bryzgalov, pulled the night prior in Toronto, turned away the Jets' final push. Max Talbot put the exclamation on preserving the Flyers win by blocking the final shot by Dustin Byfuglien.
They will turn their attention to a Friday evening matchup with the New Jersey Devils.