Flyers Notes: Boucher's 'reward' is the night off

Posted: February 17, 2011

Flyers Notes

SUNRISE, Fla. - Goalie Brian Boucher was brilliant in Tuesday's key 4-3 win over Tampa Bay, stopping six of seven shots in the shoot-out.

His reward?

He went to the bench for Wednesday's game against the Florida Panthers. Rookie Sergei Bobrovsky was the starter.

Boucher, 34, "is a veteran goaltender and we have back-to-back games and have both goalies playing well now," coach Peter Laviolette said before the game. "This was a chance to not have to go back-to-back with Boosh. With the amount of games we have coming up, we just want to keep both guys fresh."

Entering Wednesday, Bobrovsky was 7-2 with a 2.04 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in his last nine starts. Boucher is 7-2 with a 2.17 GAA and .925 save percentage in his last 10 appearances, nine of them starts.

"They've been there all year," Laviolette said. "Without saying, 'Here's our guy,' we have two guys that are playing really well, and that's great."

Boucher said that he was fresh enough to play Wednesday but that he understood Laviolette's decision. He has a 2.27 GAA, seventh-best in the NHL.

"We have a good team here, and I think it's a case that I believe in them when I play, and they believe in me," Boucher said. "That's a nice mix. I feel good, but I think it's more of a case of the team playing really well. We have a good system here with Bob and I, and we're both ready to play."

Leino sits

Winger Ville Leino sat out Wednesday with an upper leg/groin injury. He was hurt early in Tuesday's game but did not miss any shifts.

General manager Paul Holmgren said there was a chance Leino would play Friday in Carolina. Even with Leino injured, Nik Zherdev was still a healthy scratch.

Rolling along

The Flyers haven't lost two straight since Dec. 20 and 28, when they lost to Florida and Vancouver.

"I've been impressed with that," Laviolette said. "You get that opportunity to fix something [after a loss]. They're not happy. I'm not happy. That's a good thing. You get an opportunity to go back out there and right the wrong, and they've done that."

Quotable

Winger James van Riemsdyk on his first "Gordie Howe hat trick" - a fight, a goal, and an assist in the win in Tampa: "I don't know what the odds would be if someone bet on it in Vegas, but it's pretty unlikely. I'm sure I'm going to get some heat from my buddies."

His fight, a draw with Randy Jones, was the first of his NHL career.

Breakaways

The Flyers began the night with a league-best 18-6-3 road record. . . . Entering Wednesday, Andreas Nodl had not scored a goal in his last 18 games and was pointless in his last nine games. That ended in the first period against Florida on Wednesday night, when he scored on a slick pass from Danny Briere. . . . Florida coach Pete DeBoer on the Flyers' acquisition of Kris Versteeg: "They made themselves a lot stronger. He fits right into that third line." . . . The Flyers' shoot-out win over Tampa Bay on Comcast SportsNet delivered a 3.7 rating (112,000 households), making it the team's highest-rated regular-season game on the channel since Oct. 22, 2002 against Buffalo. The game peaked at a 5.0 rating (152,000 households) at 10:15 p.m. . . . Claude Giroux had a large contingent of family and friends at the games in Tampa and Sunrise.

 - Sam Carchidi

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