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Flyers Rout Panthers, Streak at Four

Bryz celebrates his shutout with Andreas Lilja (6) and Danny Briere (48) (ESPN).

Fans booed him nearly a month ago, but all that could be heard at the Wells Fargo Center tonight was cheers as goalie Ilya Bryzgalov posted his second shutout in 3 games. Bryz was the reason the Philadelphia Flyers (38-21-7) won convincing, 5-0, against the Florida Panthers tonight. In fact, he has been the reason the Flyers have won four straight games.

Rookie center Brayden Schenn scored his 8th of the season, a power-play tally, midway through the first on a rare first strike by the Flyers. Claude Giroux was credited with the assist as the puck trickled to Schenn after Scott Hartnell whiffed on a one-timer attempt. It is just the second time in twelve games where they have scored first.

The Flyers defense was stout, only allowing 5 more SOG, and Bryz was even better, stopping them all.

3:06 into the second, another rookie, Matt Read, put his team up 2-0. He now leads all NHL rookies with 19 goals and is 4th on the Flyers behind Hartnell, Giroux, and Wayne Simmonds.

However, the play of the game goes to the aforementioned Hartnell, scoring his 32nd goal of the season off of a breakaway. He stole the puck from a Panthers defenseman and motored up the ice. With a quick shot to the left upper-corner of the net, and a loud clink of the crossbar, the puck trickled into the goal. Jose Theodore stood no chance against the 5th-highest goal scorer in the NHL.

Scott Hartnell high-fives teammates after scoring a breakaway goal in the 2nd (ESPN).

In the third, the Flyers worked the puck around on a 5 on 3. Jagr stood at the top of the slot stick-handling and waiting for an opening to shoot. He fired a quick shot past Theodore for his 18th goal of the season.

With less than two minutes left in the game, rookie defenseman, Erik Gustafsson, skated up the ice. Before he was taken into the boards he fed rookie forward, Eric Wellwood, with a pass.  Wellwood sped up the ice, and scored putting the cap on a 5-0 win.

After the game Bryzgalov averred, “it was an unbelievable team effort tonight.” The team played strong in front of him blocking 18 shots. He earned his fourth shutout of the season, and his second of March, after stopping 28 Panther shots. Danny Briere had 2 assists. The victory moves the Flyers within two points of the Pens in the Eastern Conference. They continue the push with 17 games remaining in the season. The Flyers were without Timonen, Meszaros, Voracek and Pavel Kubina tonight. The next matchup is against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto.

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Categories: Flyers

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