Ilya Bryzgalov’s first season with Philadelphia has certainly had its ups and downs, but his current hot streak is mountains above anything he did in his previous five months with the Flyers. Bryzgalov earned his third shutout in just four games to lead Philadelphia to a 1-0 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jonas Gustavsson held his own in the goaltender battle through the first 60 minutes of play and the overtime period. However, he was finally beaten by a stunning shootout goal by Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux.
This is just the latest setback for Toronto in what seems to be a lost season. Toronto has won just two games since Feb. 7 and their recent coaching change has done nothing to stop the bleeding. At this point, it’s entirely possible that Toronto will finish with fewer points than its 2010-11 counterpart. For the Philadelphia Flyers, this is another big win as they attempt to gain ground on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the battle for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Flyers will play in New Jersey on Sunday in the first half of their home-and-home series against the Devils. Philadelphia is also scheduled to play against the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins next week, before finally hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 18. How Philadelphia does over its next five games could play a big role in determining if they can still claim the fourth seed.