The last time the Flyers met the Devils, they were embarrassed 3-0 in Newark. Ilya Bryzgalov couldn’t stop a penalty shot from Ilya Kovalchuk, and it was all the momentum the Devils needed. That occurred during opening week of the season when the Flyers started out 0-3. Since then, Bryzgalov has played very well, even though his numbers aren’t quite as strong as they were nine days ago. Yet here’s what matters: the Flyers are 4-1-1 over his last six starts. During that stretch, Bryzgalov’s goals against average is an inflated 2.71 and his save percentage is .906. That’s because the Flyers have had some shoddy periods of poor team defense in front of him. In early February, he had a 2.20 GAA and .923 save percentage. Still, he’s given the Flyers a chance to win every game. That is most important. Bryzgalov held things together Tuesday night in Winnipeg in the first six minutes when the Jets were all over the Flyers. He finished with 24 saves. “It’s always nice to play in Canada and to come back,” he said. “We survived the storm.” Indeed, they survived it with a 1-0 lead. “When you go down a goal or two and drop yourself in a deficit with a back-to-back game, it becomes tough,” he said. “You have to expend a lot of energy to [come back]. When the game is tied 0-0, anything can happen.” The Flyers are going to need Bryzgalov to be sharp Friday night in Newark, because the Devils will be looking to jump on them like they did in their first meeting with a goal in the opening and closing minute of the first period.
Flyers need Bryzgalov to be sharp vs. Devils
CSN Philly | Feb 14