1. DANNY'S DAY Danny Briere posted two key goals in the Flyers' 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens… Both of Briere's goals were on the power-play including his first one counting as the game-winner… Briere's first was a clear deflection, while his second goal was a beauty… It all came about on a long pass from Ilya Bryzgalov to Jaromir Jagr, who fed a streaking Briere, who went top-shelf on Budaj for his 16th of the year.
2. SOLID AGAIN Ilya Bryzgalov turned in yet another stellar performance between the pipes to help the Flyers post their second straight win and his 10th of the month of March… Bryzgalov stopped 23 of 24 shots, which included three on the Montreal power-play that turned into a 5-on-3 advantage and two Montreal breakaways during the game… Bryzgalov has now allowed two goals or less in his last 11 starts.
3. PLAYOFF TIME The Flyers chose not to have any other playoff clinching scenario determine their fate tonight… Their win sealed the deal and clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the fifth consecutive year and 36th time out of the 44 seasons of play in franchise history… They are just the third team in the Eastern Conference and fifth team in the entire NHL to have clinched a playoff berth… ALL three teams in the Eastern Conference who have clinched are members of the Atlantic Division.
4. POWER MACHINE The Flyers posted three of their four goals on the power-play tonight. It was the first time they had recorded three goals on the man-advantage since a 6-5 shootout loss to the Bruins on Jan. 22 and the fourth time all season.
5. ALL FOR THE FANS The Flyers celebrated their official "Fan Appreciation Night" tonight by giving away over $100,000 worth of prizes which included MacBook Airs, Flat-Screen TV's and the very jerseys off the players backs at the end of the game… Tonight's game had 19,931 fans in attendance and was the Flyers' 73rd straight sellout.
With tonight’s game included, Ilya Bryzgalov has now allowed two or fewer goals in 11 consecutive starts. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first Flyers goaltender to do that since Bernie Parent did so in 11 consecutive games from Dec. 8, 1974 to Jan. 4, 1975.
The Flyers clinched a playoff spot for the fifth consecutive season and for the 16th time in the last 17 years.
The Flyers were perfect on the penalty kill for the 13th time in the last 15 games. They are now operating at 92.3 percent (36 for 39) during that time.
Claude Giroux recorded his 59th assist tonight, tying him with Henrik Sedin for the league lead (pending Vancouver’s game tonight with Colorado).
Matt Read’s 21st goal of the season ties him with Gabriel Landeskog for the NHL lead among rookies (pending Colorado’s game tonight with Vancouver).
Matt Carle recorded his 200th (and 201st) NHL point tonight with a pair of assists.
Briere posted his first goal of the night with a deflection in front off a shot from the point by Matt Carle. The goal gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead.
Briere notched his second of the night by coming down the right wing on Montreal goaltender Peter Budaj and snapping a shot top shelf, just under the cross bar for his 16th of the year and second power play goal of the night.
"With Danny every time the playoffs come he gets excited and scores those big goals. He's been a great player for us the last few years. When he gets going like he does, we get pretty excited." - Claude Giroux
"For us it means more than that. We are still playing and we still have a chance for home ice. If something happens in front of us, you never know. First and foremost we need to win at home." - Danny Briere
Tonight's turning point came just past the 10-minute mark of the third period when the Flyers were down two men.
First it was Wayne Simmonds to the box, then Bryzgalov was called for a tripping penalty to give the Habs a 5-on-3 for 1:39.
Bryz redeemed himself by making save after save, three in total, while another five shots were fired at the net that were either blocked or missed.
The Flyers did not allow another Montreal power-play after that and shut the door for the Flyers second straight victory.
PIC OF THE NIGHT: Max Talbot gives his "shirt off our back" jersey to a lucky fan.
Flyers 4, Canadiens 1 Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Danny Briere scored a pair of goals, Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 saves and the Philadelphia Flyers clinched a playoff berth with a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Three of Philadelphia's four goals came on the power play, upping the Flyers' league-leading total to 61.