Ilya Bryzgalov is now just 31:27 away from breaking the Philadelphia Flyers team shutout streak which is held by John Vanbiesbrouck, who set it in October 1999. Bryzgalov blanked the New Jersey Devils last night turning away all 17 shots.
“With everything he’s had to go through this year, it has to be something special for him finally, feeling like he’s playing with a lot of confidence,” said center Danny Briere, who ended a 23-game goal drought. “There was a point-blank shot in the third period and it looked like nothing. He went down, took the blocker out, deflected the puck in the corner.”
“To us on the bench, this is a huge play, it’s a huge chance for them, and you’re sitting there and see Bryz make a casual save like that, maybe that wasn’t even a good chance. The other team is not able to create any more momentum from this. It’s been fun. He makes all of us look better playing that way. It’s fun for us, as well.”
This is Bryzgalov’s third straight shutout and his fourth in five games. Bryzgalov’s 28 wins put him in a tie for ninth in the NHL. His sixth shutout this season is good enough for a tie for third in that category. “I think we had an unbelievable game tonight from start to finish. All 60 minutes it was a very good game,” Bryzgalov said. “We were very physical, hungry around the net, shooting the pucks, blocking the shots, killing the penalties pretty much the whole game. It was a good game, how the guys played.”
The Flyers got goals from Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek, but the biggest goal might have come from Danny Briere. Briere notched an empty netter with 4:49 left in the third and pounded the glass, finally getting a 23-game goal drought off his back. “Peter [Laviolette] and I had a pretty good talk yesterday,” said Briere. “He gave me a lot of confidence with the talk we had. I have to give him a lot of credit for the way he made me feel coming into tonight’s game.”
Bryz will have a chance to break Beezer’s shutout streak on Thursday against the New York Islanders, who Bryz surrendered three-goals to on March 1.
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