-- Stoked by Ilya Bryzgalov
's startling reveal before the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic about being the backup goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers
on Monday, there was much anticipation as to how the younger Sergei Bobrovsky
would perform under the lights at Citizens Bank Park.
Ultimately, Bobrovsky played well; just not well enough to win.
He conceded three goals on 33 shots to lose for the first time since Nov. 26. The Russian had gone 3-0-0 with only four goals allowed in three starts -- and performed well in relief of Bryzgalov on two other occasions during that time.
Early in the third period, Mike Rupp
's wrister from the left circle beat Bobrovsky when it slipped under his right arm. It was a save Bobrovsky clearly thought he should have made.
"He shot at the angle and hit me under my arm," said Bobrovsky through an interpreter. "In general, (I thought I played) not bad. Too bad I made a mistake."
2012 WINTER CLASSIC
Rangers edge Flyers in Classic
By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer
stopped a Danny Briere
penalty shot with :19.6 left in regulation to secure a 3-2 Rangers victory in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. READ MORE ›
When asked whether Rupp's second goal of the night was a turning point, Bobrovsky nodded: "Yes."
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette
didn't address his goalie situation directly, saying only that he was pleased with his goalie.
"It was tough. I thought he played a strong game," Laviolette said. "Certainly he would probably like another crack at that one."
Other Flyers -- including chairman Ed Snider -- downplayed any talk of controversy.
"We have two goalies. One was playing better than the other coming into this game and won the start. It's not a big issue from the point of view of the team," Snider said. "We have two good goalies and we think they'll work out whatever issues they have. We think we're in good shape."
In front of Bobrovsky, blueliner Braydon Coburn
blamed a lack of finishing for the loss.
"Bob has been playing great since training camp. He deserved the start tonight," Coburn said. "He made some big saves for us. Unfortunately we couldn't get any goals for him."
Twenty-four hours before the game, Bryzgalov, the No. 1 goalie who was brought in this summer on a long-term contract, dropped a bombshell when he informed the media of Laviolette's decision to start Bobrovsky.
"I have great news and even better news," said Bryzgalov after the Flyers' morning practice. "OK, great news is I'm not playing (Monday), and better news is we have a chance to win the game (Monday)."
After the game, Bryzgalov made a quick exit.
"I have nothing to say," he said. "Nothing. I said everything yesterday."
Whatever the controversy, the fact that Bobrovsky had outplayed Bryzgalov in recent starts was undeniable. Bryzgalov allowed 16 goals during his past four starts – all of which ended in defeat.