Odd for two teams from different Conferences, who hardly play each other, to battle in a game like tonight.
But it happened.
Unfortunately for the Flyers they were on the losing end of a 1-0 defensive/goaltenders duel.
But one thing was clear, this was a playoff type of game and the Flyers (as well as the Sharks) are likely to see more of them in the final 20 games of the regular season.
It was fairly tight checking [and] more of a playoff style," said Flyers head coach Pter Laviolette. "Typically we score some goals. We generated some chances tonight, but chances were hard to come by and the goals didn't happen."
What lacked in the goal-scoring department came a big effort by their goaltender, Ilya Bryzgalov, especially in the final period.
Bryzgalov held off an early onslaught from the Sharks looking for a two-goal lead in the third frame. First he made a great save on Sharks captain Joe Thornton on a 2-on-1, then followed that up with a right pad save on newly acquired forward Daniel Winnik, who had a one-timer just inside the left circle.
The Flyers complete their road trip with a 2-2-0 record and now return home, where they will spend three of their next four games and nine of their next 14 tilts, which includes a season-high five-game homestand from Mar. 18-26 at the Wells Fargo Center.
Flyers ended their four-game, 10-day road trip with a 2-2-0 record.
Claude Giroux was held without a shot for the first time since March 26, 2011, a span of 66 games.
This was the Flyers’ last game of the regular season outside of the Eastern time zone and their last road game of the year against a Western Conference opponent.
The six total penalty minutes between the two teams is the lowest total for a Flyers game this season.
Tonight's Flyers star goes to the man between the pipes.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped multiple scoring chances during the night from the Sharks to keep the Flyers in the game and give them a chance to force overtime right until the final buzzer.
Bryzgalov stopped the final 22 shots he faced from the Sharks, including a great save on Dan Boyle point-blank early in the first period and in the dying seconds of the second period, stopped Patrick Marleau in front of the crease. He also held off an early onslaught from the Sharks in the third period.
“It’s tough when they score on the first shot. We dug ourselves into a hole and it’s playing catch-up again. We can’t be doing that all season. It’s going to kill us. We’ve got to find a way to get a better start.” - Claude Giroux
“It’s kind of tough [with] most of the shots from the defense getting blocked. We have to find a way to somehow get it in. Maybe we shoot quicker a little bit; don’t wait until the guys come there. Shoot before maybe they’re going to get the rebound. We’re waiting too much, then you give the defense time to recover from the corner.” - Jaromir Jagr
Tonight's turning point was an early first period goal from the Sharks that proved to be the difference maker.
Ryane Clowe had the puck just outside the hash-marks and waited for a prime opportunity to shoot. He eventually fired a puck over the blocker of Bryzgalov 1:22 into the opening period.
From there, both the Flyers and Sharks were limited in second-chance opportunities and the 1-0 score held up to hand the Flyers their second shut out loss of the road trip.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Ryane Clowe scored the lone goal early in the first period and Antti Niemi made it stand up with 26 saves for his fifth shutout as the San Jose Sharks returned home from a grueling road trip and beat the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 on Tuesday night.
The Sharks had gone 2-6-1 on the 17-day trip that knocked them out of first place in the Pacific Division and into a precarious position for a playoff berth.