Flyers win, 5-2, despite losing Giroux and Bryzgalov

Posted: December 10, 2011

The Flyers have continued a season-long trend by winning games and losing players.

Despite seeing Claude Giroux depart late in the second period due to a head injury and goalie Ilya Bryzgalov leave with 13:01 left in the game, the Flyers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-2, Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers lead the Eastern Conference with an 18-7-3 record (39 points).

Giroux was hurt late in the second period when he was inadvertently kneed in the head by teammate Wayne Simmonds.

"He was in front of me and I tried to jump over him and I don't know where I caught him," Simmonds said.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said more would be known on Sunday.

"Claude was examined by our doctors and held out for precautionary reasons and we will see how he is," Holmgren said.

Giroux, who had two assists to increase his point total to 39, will be examined first thing in the morning, according to Holmgren.

"I spoke with him and he feels better," Holmgren. "He will get some rest and our doctors will meet with him [Sunday]."

Holmgren said Bryzgalov suffered a lower body injury in the second period. "He wanted to continue and it stiffened up on him in the third," Holmgren said. "We don't think it's serious."

Bryzgalov tried to downplay the injury. When asked if he were day to day, he responded, "I am hour to hour."

One never knows how the Flyers begin a game, but they are certainly doing a commendable job by the conclusion, especially of late.

Following a lackluster first period in which they trailed, 1-0, the Flyers scored three goals in the second and came close on a few other occasions.

It was the fifth consecutive win for the Flyers, all started by Bryzgalov.

In Thursday's 3-2 win over Pittsburgh, the Flyers opened with a 3-0 lead. The game before, a 5-4 overtime win at Buffalo, the Flyers began the game down 3-0. Before that, the Flyers jumped to a 4-0 lead in a 4-2 victory at Phoenix. And in the game that began the win streak, the Flyers trailed 3-0 before earning a 4-3 overtime victory at Anaheim.

Tampa Bay scored the game's first goal when Dominic Moore sent a pass from the left wing to Ryan Shannon, who was stationed the right post and tipped it in the short side with 8:08 left in the first period.

In the first period, too many Lightning skaters were left free in front of Bryzgalov.

Things were remedied in the second period.

The Flyers began the second period shorthanded after Andrej Meszaros was assessed a two-minute minor for roughing at the 20-minute mark of the first period.

It didn't seem to bother the Flyers, who almost tied it up when Kimmo Timonen hit the post on a slap shot while shorthanded.

Moments later, while playing at full strength, the Flyers scored two goals within 34 seconds. Danny Briere scored from the right circle after receiving a pass from Wayne Simmonds, and then Jaromir Jagr added his 10th goal on a slap shot with 16:48 left in the second period.

Simmonds made it 3-1 when his backhander went off the skate of defenseman Brett Clark in the net near the end of a Flyers power play.

Late in the period, Jagr almost struck again, hitting the crossbar on a slap shot from the left circle. Tampa Bay goalie Mathieu Garon later made a nice glove save on a Jake Voracek wrist shot.

Vincent Lecavalier cut the margin to 3-2 on a power-play goal 55 seconds into the third period.

The Flyers doubled the lead on Matt Carle's power-play goal, a wrist shot off a feed from Briere. Shortly after, Couturier was stoned in front by Garon.

Scott Hartnell finished matters with an empty-net goal.


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com, or @sjnard on Twitter.

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