Flyers' Boucher hopes to 'stick' as starter

The Buffalo Sabres' Derek Roy tries to get a tight-angle shot past Flyers goalie Brian Boucher during the first period of their preseason game at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday.
The Buffalo Sabres' Derek Roy tries to get a tight-angle shot past Flyers goalie Brian Boucher during the first period of their preseason game at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday.
Posted: October 02, 2010

Shortly after helping the Flyers secure a 3-1 exhibition win Friday night against Buffalo, goalie Brian Boucher was asked how the pucks seem to be sticking to his pads.

Boucher stopped 32 of 33 shots, so something must give.

"Well, I put some pine tar" on the pads, he joked, before turning serious.

"Sometimes it happens," the goalie said. "Enjoy it while it does, because there's going to be times during the year when you may fight the puck and rebounds might go in."

Boucher started Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center in place of Sergei Bobrovsky, who picked up his third win on Wednesday against the New York Islanders.

With one preseason game remaining, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette declined to discuss who would start, except to say that Bobrovsky and Boucher have played well in the absence of Michael Leighton and Johan Backlund, who are injured.

The Flyers (5-1-1) will close out the preseason Sunday with another game against the Sabres, in Buffalo. They open the season Thursday at Pittsburgh. And while Laviolette dropped no hints about whom he plans to start on Oct. 7, Boucher will be ready.

"I feel like I've had a good camp," he said. "Your goal is to make sure when the regular season starts, you feel really good about your game. And I think that's where I'm at right now."

Added Laviolette: "I think he's had a really strong training camp. Tonight was just another example of that. We had some breakdowns right in front of him, defensively, and he bailed us out quite a few times."

If not for a Derek Roy goal 17 seconds into the third period, Boucher would have had a flawless night. Still, the Flyers tied their preseason low in goals allowed.

Nikolay Zherdev scored on a power play minutes after he was called for roughing. His second-period goal gave him a team-leading five goals in exhibition play.

"When you push back a little bit, that's always good to see," Laviolette said. "Discipline is going to come into play when we play Pittsburgh, and from that point on, as a team, we need to stay disciplined."

Winger James Van Riemsdyk scored his second goal in as many games, and Blair Betts added an empty-netter.


Contact staff writer Mario Aguirre at 215-854-4550 or maguirre@phillynews.com.

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