Bryzgalov shuts out Devils, ties Flyers record

Posted: March 13, 2012

After being serenaded with "Bryz, Bryz, Byz" chants in the final minute, revived goalie Ilya Bryzgalov equaled a franchise record with his third consecutive shutout Tuesday night as the Flyers defeated the New Jersey Devils, 3-0, at the sold-out Wells Fargo Center.

Playing behind a team that put up a wall in front of him, Bryzgalov needed to make just 17 saves. He faced just one shot while the Devils had a four-minute power play in the third period.

The 31-year-old goalie equaled a record set by John Vanbiesbrouck in 1999. He also extended his shutout streak to 196 minutes, 13 seconds, and is within range of the franchise record - 227:40 by Vanbiesbrouck in 1999.

Bryzgalov, who has stopped 152 of the last 154 shots, could break that record Thursday when the Flyers visit the New York Islanders.

The Flyers got goals from Sean Couturier, Jakub Voracek, and Danny Briere. A relieved Briere ended a 23-game goal-less streak by scoring an empty-netter - he raised his arms triumphantly - with 4:49 left to make it 3-0.

Voracek, who had missed the previous three games because of a head injury, put the Flyers ahead, 2-0, by depositing a backhander on a rebound 2:14 into the final period.

With the win, the Flyers broke a tie for fifth place with the Devils in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers have won six of their last seven games, and they ended New Jersey's four-game winning streak.

Couturier ended his goal-scoring drought when he gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead with 8:53 remaining in the second period.

Pouncing on a rebound after Braydon Coburn's shot/pass bounced off the end boards, Couturier knocked a close shot past Martin Brodeur. It was his 12th goal of the season and, if you exclude an empty-net tally, his first in the last 24 games.

"I was lucky to get the rebound going to the net," said Couturier, whose line, with Max Talbot and Zac Rinaldo, did a nice defensive job on the Zach Parise-Adam Henrique-Ilya Kovalchuk unit in the first two periods.

Rinaldo nearly put the Flyers on the scoreboard early in the second period. His wraparound attempt with 18:26 left in the period was deflected at the last instant by Henrique.

Less than a minute later, Briere just missed redirecting a pass into a vacant net. Briere entered the night on a 23-game goal-less streak.

Meanwhile, Bryzgalov continued his strong play as he stopped all 14 shots in the first two periods. That extended his shutout streak to 176:13.

Bryzgalov, named the NHL's first star for his play last week, made three stops while New Jersey was on an early power play, but he was not severely tested in the second period.

In the opening 20 minutes, the Flyers could not solve Brodeur. As in Sunday's 4-1 loss in New Jersey, the Flyers had little sustained time at the Devils' end.

The Flyers came close to taking the lead 3:20 into the game, but Scott Hartnell's left-wing shot ticked off the right post. About five minutes later, Brodeur stopped Claude Giroux's one-timer. He later stopped Rinaldo on a backhander out front after Couturier's forechecking set up the scoring chance.

Defenseman Kimmo Timonen returned to the Flyers' lineup after being sidelined by injury. Timonen was paired with Matt Carle, and Voracek was on a line with Briere and Eric Wellwood.

Voracek notched his 13th goal to give the Flyers some insurance early in the third period.


Contact Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com or on Twitter @BroadStBull

 

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