Bryzmania has hit Philly.
What else can you say?
Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov notched his fourth shutout in five games Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center as the Flyers defeated the New Jersey Devils, 3-0, in the battle for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Bryz tied John Vanbiesbrouck (1999) as the only Flyer goalie in history to pitch three straight shutouts, too. His shutout streak also reached 196 minutes, 13 seconds as well.
The victory gave the Flyers 87 points -- two more than Jersey, which remained the sixth seed -- and within two points of fourth-seeded Pittsburgh.
The Flyers got a very strong effort not just from Bryzgalov, but also from their penalty kill units. They had to kill off a four-minute high-sticking penalty in the third period.
At that point, the Devils already had four power plays.
Of concern going into the game for the Flyers was their lack of offense. Its one thing to rely on strong defense and goaltending to win games -- thats what wins in the playoffs -- but you still need to score more than one goal a game.
Coming into this one, three of the Flyers past five games saw them score just one goal. They had two in another and five in a rout over Florida, in which their rookies carried them start to finish.
In an effort to help Danny Briere break his 23-game goal slump, Laviolette played him on a new line with Eric Wellwood and Jakub Voracek, who returned after missing three games with concussion symptoms.
Briere had an opportunity in the first period, but a bouncing puck ruined things for him. He would score an empty-netter as the Devils pulled Brodeur with almost five minutes left, trailing 2-0.
Ther first period went scoreless, highlighted by two Flyer penalty kills as Bryzgalovs shutout streak continued to climb past the 156-minute mark.
Briere wasnt the only Flyer coming into this game without a goal in a while. If you discount an empty net goal against the Islanders to start the month of March, Sean Couturier had not scored with a goalie in net for 24 games.
Couturier gave a giant fist pump at 11:07 of the second period by digging a puck out from under Brodeurs pads by the right post to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
Voraceks last goal came March 6 against Detroit -- the same night he turned right into Niklas Kronwalls shoulder, slamming his face.
Well, the 22-year-old Czech winger celebrated his return with a tough, crease-battle goal early in the final period to make it 2-0. It was his 13th of the season.
Briere drew an assist on the goal.
(More coming ...)
E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org.