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Fly-by: Flyers 1, Capitals 0

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

  Laviolette    Wellwood    Bryzgalov
Flyers rookie Eric Wellwood, recently recalled from the Phantoms, hasn't played in too many 1-0 contests, let alone score the game-winning goal in them.

But that's not what was impressive about the Flyers victory in Washington. It was that the Flyers had perhaps their best, most complete game of the year when their normally high-powered offense didn't provide four or five goals.

“I think it was an outstanding team effort," said Flyers net minder Ilya Bryzgalov. "Guys sacrificed themselves. They cleared out the front of the net. They did everything coach asked. We did everything we needed for the win.“

The complete win came at a much needed time to say the least. Not only did the Flyers earn another two points in the standings which moved them past the New Jersey Devils and within one game of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Atlantic Division, but they did it upon receiving bad news on two members of their defense.

It was announced before the game that All-Star defenseman Kimmo Timonen as well as Andrej Meszaros were suffering from lower-body injuries and would be out indefinitely. In stepped Andreas Lilja and rookie Erik Gustafsson who each played over 15 minutes of time on blue line.

Of course as the saying goes, a team's best defense starts in net and Bryzgalov was every bit as good as the 1-0 victory indicates. In turning aside all 34 shots on the night, he faced breakaways, one-timers in the slot and deflections to keep Alex Ovechkin and company at bay.

The Flyers have now strung together two consecutive victories for the first time since mid-January. They will be looking add a third in-a-row when they take on the Western Conference leading Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
Ilya Bryzgalov recorded his third shutout of the season.  He is just the third Flyers goaltender to record three shutouts in a season since the lockout (Biron 5, 07-08; Emery 3, 09-10).
The game was the Flyers’ first 1-0 win since Dec. 30, 2007 at Florida (Niittymaki).
Claude Giroux took 10 faceoffs tonight, the fewest he’s taken in a game this season.
The Flyers’ 41 attempts on net (23 SOG, eight attempts blocked, 10 misses) is the team’s third-fewest this season. (11-2 at BUF, 38; 1-21 at NJD, 32).  The Flyers won all three of those games.
Eric Wellwood’s goal was the 46th of the season for a Flyers rookie, which accounts for 22.1 percent of the team’s goals this season.
Ilya Bryzgalov
For his 34-save performance, Ilya Bryzgalov gets tonight's Flyers star of the game.

Bryzgalov was tested early and often in the game, facing 12 shots in total in the first period, which included a 2 on 1 opportunity that saw Caps forward Jay Beagle deflect a pass towards the net.

Bryzgalov would go on to stop Mike Knuble on a partial breakaway in the second frame and a deflection close in front from Caps star Alex Ovechkin.

The shut was his third of the year for the Flyers and 26th in his NHL career.

“I thought the first period was a good period. We came out just a little bit flat in the second period. We were watching just a little bit too much. I thought we responded really well after {the timeout}. And not just that, but {after} the goal too. We got back in it and started generating some offense.”
- Peter Laviolette

“February wasn’t a good month for us. To win a game on the road against a very good offensive team, it’s good for the mindset of the team. To come in here and Bryz playing well. It’s not a secret. In the playoffs, this is the type of hockey that you have to play if you want to win.“
- Danny Briere
Tonight's turning point came at the 13-minute mark of the second period when Ilya Bryzgalov stopped Caps power forward (and ex-Flyer) Mike Knuble in all alone on a breakaway.

Knuble faked a shot and went to his backhand in an attempt to slide it through Brygalov's five-hole, but Bryzgalov shut the door to keep it a scoreless game.

Less than a minute later, Pavel Kubina would fire a shot from the point with rookie Eric Wellwood cutting to the net. Wellwood deflected the shot past Washington goaltender Michal Neuvirth to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead which would be the difference maker.
PIC OF THE NIGHT: Teammates on the bench congratulate Eric Wellwood on his goal.   

Flyers 1, Capitals 0
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Eric Wellwood scored less than a minute after Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette called a timeout to give his players an earful, and Ilya Bryzgalov made 34 saves, leading the Flyers to a 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals on Sunday night.

Bryzgalov earned his third shutout of the season, and the 26th of his career, even though the Flyers were missing two defensemen who sat out with injuries: Kimmo Timonen and Andrej Meszaros.


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