Flyers Notes: Bryzgalov shows frustration in loss

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Flyers Notes: Bryzgalov shows frustration in loss

Ilya Bryzgalov threw his stick in anger twice during Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers (see game recap).

He threw it first after giving up the penalty shot goal to Jonathan Huberdeau in the first period, which gave Florida an imposing 3-0 lead.

The Russian goalie threw it again when pulled from the game after the fourth goal. This time he skated to the bench and hurled it in the tunnel.

At the morning skate in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Bryzgalov threw it at the glass after three Flyers had scored on him in a scrum.

Bryzly Bear coming unglued here?

“I was mad because I just missed him on the poke check a little bit and he [Huberdeau] goes through his legs and I can’t regroup fast enough,” Bryzgalov said.

“It was 3-0. There is a big difference. I knew it. I almost had it and [bleep], it’s in the net, and I was so upset.”

Huberdeau is a very talented rookie. He also scored on Bryzgalov in the shootout during the Flyers' 3-2 loss to the Panthers on Feb. 7.

“I love being in the shootout,” Huberdeau said. “So, I protect my puck and they gave me the opportunity to have a shootout, so I just took it and I’m glad I scored a goal for the team.”

Bryzgalov said he could see the Flyers were emotionally spent from their victory in Pittsburgh.

“I think we spent lots of emotions and energy on [Wednesday’s] game,” he said. “All of us. Maybe we were playing today like … a little bit tired, without emotion. Games against Pittsburgh take lots of energy and emotions to beat them.”

He also said the team discussed not having a letdown before the Panthers game.

“You try to tell yourself everyone is fine, everything is OK. We’re ready to go and we’re absolutely fine,” Bryzgalov said. “We step onto the ice and maybe everybody start to feel differently.”

Read goes down
Matt Read will miss a projected six weeks with a rib cage tear suffered in Pittsburgh (see story).

Every time a winger goes on the top line with Claude Giroux, they end up getting injured -- Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds and now Read.

The line of Read, Giroux and Jakub Voracek had been strong in the past couple games.

“It’s tough,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “That line had gotten put together and there was so much chemistry with it.

“You go back at the end of the game and look at the scoring chances that line created and they were in the teens together. When that gets pulled apart, it’s a little difficult to stick somebody in there.

“I thought Tye [McGinn] did a good job tonight. He went out and tried to give us some skating and physicality on the line, but certainly there was some chemistry with Matt.

“To take him out of the lineup, he is a guy that we just answered question a couple days ago, that he is a guy that does everything. He plays point on the power play. He can play left wing, center and right wing on penalties, so he’s a valuable piece to the puzzle.”

Record-setting rivalry
Wednesday night's wild 6-5 Flyers victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins was the highest-rated regular-season game in the history of NBC Sports Network, scoring a 0.55 household rating.

In addition to the rating score, the game averaged 901,000 viewers, making it the second-most watched game in the station's history.

Locally, the game was the highest-rated for NBC Sports Network in both Pittsburgh and in Philadelphia, earning a 14.50 household rating in Pittsburgh and a 4.84 rating here. The channel was rated No. 1 overall in Pittsburgh during the game, and was tops among cable channels in Philadelphia.

Loose pucks

The Comcast Network will air Friday’s Adirondack Phantoms vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins live at 7 p.m. Calling the game will be Brian Smith and Todd Fedoruk. ... The Phantoms' new home in Allentown -- it opens for the 2014-15 season -- got its name on Thursday: PPL Center, as in the electricity carrier in Pennsylvania. ... Nick Grossmann dropped gloves with heavyweight George Parros in the second period and lost. Grossmann has three NHL fights now -- two against Parros. ... Luke Schenn scored late in the third period. He has two goals as a Flyer. ... Florida’s Peter Mueller had two goals. ... The Flyers had 34 shots on Panthers goalie Scott Clemensen. ... Giroux had 10 attempts at the net but only two officials shots. … Voracek has a four-game scoring streak. … Grossmann had five of the Flyers' 12 blocked shots.

Best of NHL: Last-place Islanders take down rival Rangers

Best of NHL: Last-place Islanders take down rival Rangers

NEW YORK -- Andrew Ladd scored in the second period and Jaroslav Halak stopped 36 shots to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the crosstown-rival Rangers on Tuesday night.

John Tavares, Jason Chimera and Scott Mayfield also scored at the Barclays Center to help the last-place Islanders improve to 4-0-1 in their last five games.

Jimmy Vesey and Marc Staal scored for the Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 28 saves. The Rangers have alternated wins and losses in regulation in their last eight games.

Halak beat Lundqvist for the ninth time in their last 10 matchups. Halak had won eight straight -- including the last five after joining the Islanders before the 2014-15 season -- before Lundqvist ended the streak in the Rangers' 5-3 win in the season opener Oct. 13 at Madison Square Garden. Lundqvist is now 1-6-1 in his last eight against the Islanders (see full recap).

Schwartz lifts Blues over Canadiens in OT
ST. LOUIS -- Jaden Schwartz got his second goal of the game in overtime, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

Paul Stastny also scored for St. Louis, which has won four of five. The Blues rallied from a 2-0 deficit and have a point in their last 13 home games.

Tomas Plekanec and Paul Byron scored for Montreal, which completed a five-game trip 2-3.

Goalie Jake Allen made 28 saves to improve to 13-3-3.

Schwartz lifted a backhander past goalie Al Montoya with 1:22 left in overtime.

Stastny and Schwartz scored in a 2:51 span in the third period to tie it at 2 (see full recap).

Blackhawks blank Coyotes to snap modest skid
CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa had two goals, Scott Darling made 22 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-0 on Tuesday night to snap a two-game slide.

Artem Anisimov and Dennis Rasmussen also scored to help Chicago maintain a three-point lead over St. Louis in the Central Division.

Darling made a handful of tough stops but wasn't heavily tested in his first shutout this season and third of his career. He started his third straight game in place of No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford, who had an appendectomy in Philadelphia on Saturday.

The 37-year-old Hossa scored his team-leading 13th and 14th goals in his 27th game -- surpassing his total of 13 last season in 64 contests (see full recap).

Confident Flyers extend winning streak to 6 straight games

Confident Flyers extend winning streak to 6 straight games

BOX SCORE

They’ll admit it was choppy, sloppy hockey much of the night.

They didn’t bring their “A” game. Or “B” for that matter.
 
What the Flyers did have, however, was the confidence of a winning streak. And a hot goaltender in Steve Mason.
 
That was all they needed Tuesday to nudge the injury-riddled Florida Panthers, 3-2, in overtime at the Wells Fargo Center (see Instant Replay).
 
That’s six wins in succession for the Flyers, who moved to within two points of the Rangers and Penguins, both atop the Metropolitan Division. This equals the Flyers’ longest winning streak in five seasons, going back to December 2011.
 
“That's part of it, but the biggest thing was the saves we got,” Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. “No doubt about that throughout the game. One of those nights where Mase was our best player.”
 
Mason had 42 saves, including a game-saver on Aaron Ekblad in overtime (see highlights).
 
Meanwhile, Wayne Simmonds continued his personal tear with another two-goal effort to give him 15 tallies on the season. One of the goals came on the power play as Simmonds now leads the NHL with eight power-play goals and 14 power-play points.
 
“I’m playing with great linemates and trying to give pucks up and get to the net,” Simmonds said. “It’s not all on me. It has a lot to do with my teammates.”
 
During the Flyers’ winning streak, Simmonds has seven points (five goals) as does Jakub Voracek, who nailed the game-winner with 8.6 seconds left in OT.
 
“Sometimes, it’s important for us if we don’t necessarily play great hockey, to win the game or get at least a point,” Voracek said. “That’s how you make it to the playoffs. Mase was outstanding with a lot of big saves. And we scored when we needed [to].”
 
Voracek notched the winner off a broken play from Claude Giroux.
 
“I was tired,” Voracek said. “It was a long hockey game. Three [games] in four [nights]. I lost the puck, G made the turnover happen and I knew if I turned around and shot it quick, he (goalie James Reimer) wouldn’t be able to get down.”
 
You’d never know this was a tired Panthers squad finishing up a six-game road trip given the way it out-skated and out-hustled the Flyers throughout the night.
 
“I think Florida played a great game. They played an outstanding game and they might have deserved better, but so many times this year we played teams and lost a game,” Voracek said. “So, it’s kind of good to get out of it [with a win].”
 
Florida outshot the Flyers, 14-3, at one point in the first period and led, 1-0, on Aleksander Barkov’s third goal in four games. He had a sweet give-and-go with Mark Pysyk across the high slot.
 
With less than three minutes remaining in the period, Reimer looked like a shortstop muffing a ground-ball hop as he fanned on Simmonds’ shot from 45 feet to tie the game. That was Simmonds’ first goal of the evening.
 
“I think the puck hit the top of their defenseman’s stick,” Simmonds said. “It was a lucky goal.”
 
Reimer made up for it during the second period with a sensational glove stab of Michael Raffl’s tip that was headed under the crossbar.
 
Yet he couldn’t do anything to stop Simmonds’ tip of Giroux’s shot from the high slot during a second-period power play.
 
Florida was energized for the third period while the Flyers tried to sit on that 2-1 lead. Mason stood on his head as he faced 17 shots.
 
“We have to change our mindset,” Simmonds said. “That’s the first time we’ve done that in a while.”
 
Mason had an incredible stop on Jussi Jokinen, but Jokinen got the tying goal nonetheless with 4:48 left in regulation to force overtime.
 
“It was a game where you had to come up with big saves,” Mason said. “Good game to come out with two points, but we all understand we have to be better.”
 
Speaking of better, rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov, evoking memories of Chris Therien, did a number on Jaromir Jagr to hold the all-time great without a point.
 
Also, that’s five games in a row now the Flyers haven’t allowed more than two goals. Don’t think that isn’t huge in their surge in the standings, as well as climbing out of their team goals-against hole.
 
“That’s unbelievable for us,” Simmonds said. “At the beginning of the year, to say we’d have five straight without giving up more than two would be a stretch.
 
“We’ve locked it down defensively and Mase has played unbelievable. We’ve been pretty good as five-man units.”