Ilya Bryzgalov

Humongous hot: Ilya Bryzgalov earns third shutout in a row


Sure it’s been a bumpy ride, but Ilya Bryzgalov is starting to make the Philadelphia Flyers’ wild off-season of changes look crazy-brilliant – just like him. The Russian netminder is hotter than a Husky* right now, as he stopped all 17 New Jersey Devils shots for his third consecutive shutout.

(The Philadelphia Flyers won 3-0, pushing their season points total to 87.)

Bryzgalov stopped all 74 shots in the last three contests and 145 out of 147 in his five most recent appearances. His individual stats are still fairly pedestrian overall aside from his six shutouts (.908 save percentage, 2.53 GAA) but his record is pretty impressive at 28-13-6.

Those three games are the peak, but his hot streak extends beyond numbers that might have him flirting with goose egg history soon. Breezy’s won five games in a row, has four shutouts in his last five games and is generally making us all eat a lot of crow.

Sure, Philly fans won’t care if his tiger blood runs out in the playoffs, but it’s a scorching-hot run. Can he keep it up, though?

Enjoy the highlights of his latest shutout – as uneventful as it was at times – in the video below.

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* – Sorry.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.