Florida Breaks Our Home Winning Streak in Last Night's Defeat, 2 - 1
I wouldn't call it a terrible game, per se, but it certainly wasn't the Flyers' strongest pursuance. Heading into Tuesday night, our boys were fighting for our sixth consecutive win in our barn. Unfortunately the Florida Panthers threw a wrench in our gears. It was our fourth and final meeting against the Club from the Sunshine State, but we could not manage a season series sweep over the adversary.
We can whine and moan about the end result all we want, but losses like these happen and all that matters is how Philadelphia responds. Florida's backup netminder Scott Clemmensen faced 36-shots from the Bullies and only allowed a single puck past his gates. Ilya Bryzgalov saw less action between his pipes than a hobo at the Spearmint Rhino, but the Panthers managed to still light two lamps on 13-shots.
"Oh great, we're seeing the Bryz of Old return...."
Not so fast.
Both goals on Ilya's twine were far from his fault. And if you aren't a stranger to my articles, you'd know had they been his fault....I'd tuck his head on the chopping block in a matter of seconds.
No, instead Bryzgalov allowed one wrister from Stephen Weiss as he sliced through our backchecking defense like Steven Hawking through an algebra problem --
The match's first potted puck came after the Flyers failed to capitalize on one of four power-plays (all of which came in the first frame). Weiss crossed over our blue line uncontested as Pavel Kubina was trying to remedy some ice between Bryzgalov and the play.
Weiss simply deked leftward and took his shot from the flank of a screening wall of orange shirts. His snap shot surgically molested the corner of Bryzgalov's net, and the Panthers were up 1 - 0.
Again, not much could have been done on Bryz's part. He was in good position to face the shot on his nearside but Weiss exploited the momentum of a collapsing defense by instantly converting the play the opposite way. Hats off to Stephen because it was a silky smooth resolution.
The tilt did not go without any Philadelphia offense.
Like I mentioned earlier, the Fly Guys put 36-pucks on Clemmensen's twine but he virtually stoned them all. The only goal coming from the Flyers was Eric Wellwood's pinballing rubber sent from a bad angle --
Before Wellwood's addition to the scoresheet, Philly was down a couple goals after allowing a Sean Bergenheim PPG. That opportunity rose up after Florida sent the puck in along the boards, it took a bad bounce off the glass and roosted in front of Ilya's wide open twine. A funky bounce led to a goal.
Unfortunately the Panthers had an answer for everything else for the remainder of regulation.
Florida pulled the ol' trap defense and most of the second half was played at center ice or watching the Panthers flick the puck back into our zone. You can call it a boring game because that's exactly what it was.
Some excitement rose up in the final minute of the 3rd period when Bryzgalov was yanked from his net and a sixth skater hit the ice for the Flyers (5-forwards, 1-defenseman).
Briere, Giroux, Jagr, Hartnell and Voracek were all on the frozen pond together. Something was BOUND to ensue. All that firepower collected in one offensive zone? It was like getting ready to witness a supernova.
Sure enough, the chances were there. Clemmensen bust a few MC Hammer moves that could make a contortionist blush, including one of the luckiest saves I have seen all season long --
Scott couldn't have more men in front of him if he were at a Village People concert, yet there his glove stood between the puck and promised land.
You simply must give kudos to the Florida netminder. He played his ass off.
This loss is nothing to worry about. The Panthers needed the points more than Philly, and the Flyers are coming off a string of successful, emotional outcomes. There's still a lot of momentum carrying us into Thursday's tilt with the Washington Capitals.
Speaking of the Caps, apparently Ovechkin is showing flashes of his former, shutdown self. Not good news, but the Flyers have outstanding defensive forwards who are more than capable of eliminating him from chances. And once Alex The Great skates through a forward player, he's got a mountain named Grossmann to look forward to.
Don't miss a second on Thursday evening.
Good night. Ehhhhh hockey.
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