Philly's Bryzgalov bounces back in win over Penguins
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The first period was a bear for Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who had a few of the furry animals watching him rinkside.
But he never hid.
Bryzgalov allowed three early goals but shut out the Penguins for the final 43 minutes of Wednesday night's 4-3 overtime victory at Consol Energy Center in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.
"What we did today was unbelievable," Bryzgalov said. "To beat Pittsburgh when we were down, 3-0, after the first period is not easy."
Known for giving unusual answers, Bryzgalov raised eyebrows this week when he said he was only afraid of bears. That inspired a few fans to don bear costumes last night.
"How did they get tickets?" Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr said. "I was scared, too."
Bryzgalov didn't show it. Only one of his goals against could be called partially his fault. The high-priced standout proved his worth by keeping the Flyers in position for their comeback.
"Those goals weren't his fault, obviously," said forward Brayden Schenn, whose power-play goal tied it with 7:37 left. "He played great for us, especially when it was 3-0."
Bryzgalov shut out the Penguins in the second and third periods, stopping 15 straight shots. Among them was an up-close stop on Evgeni Malkin, who slipped between two Flyers defenders.
After two goals by Danny Briere and Schenn's tying goal, Jakub Voracek won it 2:23 into overtime.
The victory ended Bryzgalov's postseason losing streak at five games and helped answer questions about whether he could carry the Flyers to the Stanley Cup. The 31-year-old Russian hasn't won a playoff series since 2006, his rookie season with Anaheim.
Bryzgalov stopped 25 shots and bettered Marc-Andre Fleury during the final 43 minutes.
"After this series, they'll talk about one goaltender having done his job," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said before Game 1. "And that will be the team that wins four games first."
Right now, Bryzgalov leads 1-0.
Sidney Crosby was the first to score on Bryzgalov, with a backhand shot between the legs of Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann. Crosby found the puck in Grossmann's feet and flipped it over Bryzgalov's left shoulder to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead 3:43 into the game.
Tyler Kennedy snapped a shot past Bryzgalov's blocker about four minutes later to finish a two-on-one with Jordan Staal. Bryzgalov had little chance to stop either.
The third goal, with just 37 seconds left, was the one Bryzgalov could have prevented with a little luck. Steve Sullivan's pass from behind the net hit Bryzgalov's stick and popped in the air, and Pascal Dupuis knocked it into the net.
The Flyers saw Bryzgalov as the premier goaltender they lacked and signed the free agent to a nine-year, $51 million contract in June. He won 33 games this season, but his play was uneven at times.
A Penguins rally at the Allegheny County Courthouse courtyard in anticipation of the start of the Penguins playoff game against Philadelphia Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
Game 1 Penguins vs. Flyers 4⁄11/12
The Flyers defeat the Penguins, 4-3 in overtime, in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup playoff series.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins trade Sutter to Canucks, sign free agent center Fehr
- Sutter: Staal effect felt on 3rd line with Penguins
- Reliving the moment a decade ago that shifted the Penguins' history
- Rossi: ‘Hockey guy’ Sutter will be missed
- New Pens winger Fehr ready for defense-first role
- Penguins to appear on national TV 18 times in 2015-16
- ‘Warning track’ makes Pittsburgh debut at Southpointe’s Iceoplex
- Pens assistant GM Fitzgerald leaves for Devils
- Rossi: ‘Hockey guy’ Sutter will be missed