The call to go back to Ilya Bryzgalov on Thursday night was a big vote of confidence for the Flyers' hot-and-cold $51 million man.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were in town, and even with No. 87 not in the building, this was as big as it gets for November hockey, two teams that hate each other meeting for the first time this season with first place in the division and conference on the line.

The night before, Bryz was shaky again in Buffalo, allowing three first-period goals, the last a soft one, and then another late in regulation that forced overtime. Even though the Flyers ending up prevailing, it seemed likely that coach Peter Laviolette again would turn to capable backup Sergei Bobrovsky, who played back-to-back days over Thanksgiving weekend following a Bryzgalov first-period meltdown on Long Island.