Ilya Bryzgalov is sharp as Flyers beat Jets, 3-2

The Flyers' Harry Zolnierczyk , just called up from the AHL, is stopped by Winnipeg goalie Al Montoya on a breakaway in the first period.                   TREVOR HAGAN / Canadian Press
The Flyers' Harry Zolnierczyk , just called up from the AHL, is stopped by Winnipeg goalie Al Montoya on a breakaway in the first period.                   TREVOR HAGAN / Canadian Press
Posted: February 14, 2013

WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Seconds after the opening faceoff Tuesday night, the Winnipeg fans serenaded Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov with a sing-song chant.

"Illl-yaaaaa . . . Illl-yaaaaa . . . Illl-yaaaaa!"

They were mocking Bryzgalov because of negative comments he made about their beloved city while he was with Phoenix a couple of years ago.

Bryzgalov ignored the chants. One night after he was removed from a game after allowing four goals in about 26 minutes, Bryzgalov was brilliant as he led the Flyers past the Winnipeg Jets, 3-2, at the ear-splitting MTS Centre.

The 32-year-old goalie was asked if the fans' chants served as motivation.

"To be honest - I don't care, really," he said. "They don't cheer anything bad. They just cheer my name."

Bryzgalov stopped 24 of 26 shots, Jake Voracek had two assists, and rookie Tye McGinn scored a goal and won a fight as the Flyers improved to 4-1-1 in their last six games.

The Flyers had lost four straight on the road, where they are 2-6.

McGinn redirected a Voracek pass past relief goalie Ondrej Pavelec with 15 minues, 43 seconds remaining to give the Flyers a 3-1 lead. It proved to be the game-winner as the Jets scored a goal with 47 seconds left. The line of Brayden Schenn, Voracek (eight points in last eight games), and McGinn was dominating.

"He's been such a nice addition to our lineup," coach Peter Laviolette said of McGinn. "He's big, he's strong, he finishes his checks. He fights once in a while, scores goals, sticks up for his teammates - all things you look for when a player is coming up.

"Positive contributions to our lineup, and it's not just the goals - it's the fact he gets pucks out on the walls. He does a lot of nice little things out there that have really made him fit in."

Schenn gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead by redirecting Voracek's crossing pass past Al Montoya with about 12 minutes left in the opening period.

But Winnipeg tied it as captain Andrew Ladd (two goals), skating into the slot, got behind Max Talbot and one-timed Blake Wheeler's pass into the net. Bryzgalov had no chance.

Bryzgalov figured sit out Tuesday. But because he was yanked early in the second period in Monday's 5-2 loss in Toronto, Laviolette gave him his 13th start in 14 games.

The Flyers took a 2-1 lead with 2:52 left in the first period on a power-play goal by Kimmo Timonen, who one-timed a blast past Montoya as Wayne Simmonds screened the goalie. Claude Giroux set up the goal, and Timonen keyed the sequence by hustling to keep the puck in the zone and triggering a cycle.

The Flyers scored on two of their six first-period shots, and they had two other great chances - Montoya stopped Harry Zolnierczyk on a breakaway, and Ruslan Fedotenko hit the post on a two-on-one shorthanded opportunity. (Montoya was removed after the second period because of a lower-body injury.)

Bryzgalov was the difference in an entertaining but scoreless second period, making a handful of terrific saves, including three on Evander Kane late in the stanza to preserve the Flyers' 2-1 lead. Bryzgalov made his best stop with 1:18 to go in the second, stopping Kane after he went in alone and tried to beat the goalie with a forehand shot.

The second period also featured a lively bout between McGinn and Mark Stuart, one of the Jets' alternate captains. McGinn was staggered at the start, but he rallied and dropped Stuart to the ice with a right hand. After he got out of the penalty box, McGinn went to the bench and exchanged fist bumps with assistant Craig Berube.


Contact Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com.

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