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Bryzgalov's streak ends but Flyers hold off Isles 3-2

by Adam Kimelman
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Ilya Bryzgalov saw his shutout streak come to an end. His winning streak is alive and well.

Bryzgalov stopped 29 of 31 shots to backstop the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 win Thursday against the New York Islanders.
Bryzgalov won his seventh straight game and ran his shutout streak to a club-record 249:43 before allowing a pair of Islanders goals 35 seconds apart late in the third period. He had tied a club record with three straight shutouts entering the game, and stopped 112 shots during his streak.
Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist, and Zac Rinaldo and Scott Hartnell also had goals to lead the Flyers to their seventh win in eight games.
Michael Grabner and John Tavares scored on consecutive shots late in third period for the Islanders, but it wasn't enough to help the Isles snap their winless skid, which reached five games (0-3-2) and has dropped them into last place in the Eastern Conference as they head out on a five-game road trip.
The modern-era NHL record for consecutive shutouts is five, set by Brian Boucher during the 2003-04 season. Boucher also holds the modern-era League record for consecutive scoreless streak at 332:01.
Flyers players knew what was on the line for Bryzgalov and did what they could to get the record for him.

"We couldn't stop thinking on the bench about the shutout streak that Bryz had going on," Hartnell said.

"Any game you get close like that to having a shutout, you want to do it for your goalie," Braydon Coburn, who led the team with four blocked shots, told
Bryzgalov said hearing that kind of support from his teammates meant a lot to him.

"It's nice when team supports you," he said. "They try to help as much as possible. As you can see … they're diving to block the shots, the passes. I think they played unbelievable."

The Flyers opened the scoring 8:41 into the game when Rinaldo scored his second goal of the season. Sean Couturier carried the puck into the Islanders' zone and flipped to Rinaldo along the left wall. Rinaldo corralled the puck just below the left circle and fired a sharp-angled shot that somehow found daylight between Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov and the post.
The goal was the second of Rinaldo's NHL career and his first in 44 games.
"Grosser (Grossmann) gave the puck up to me and I gave it up to Couts (Couturier)," Rinaldo said. "I called for it right back and he passed it back to me. I threw it on net hoping for a rebound and my luck it went in. I was kind of surprised the puck went in but I saw it go in before anyone else so I wasn't too surprised as much as everyone else. You just hope for the best and things happen."
Nabokov, who finished with 19 saves, took the blame for the goal.

"I thought we came out playing pretty well," Nabokov said, "and then the first goal put us back a little bit. Then they took it to us."

Philadelphia made it 2-0 later in the period on Giroux's 26th goal of the season. The Flyers' top line cycled the puck down low, with Jaromir Jagr spinning off a Mark Streit check and finding Giroux open in the high slot for a one-timer. The goal gives Giroux a new single-season career best; he had 25 goals in 82 games last season.
Hartnell made it 3-0 when he scored his 33rd of the season at 7:02 of the second period. Kimmo Timonen poked the puck ahead to Hartnell at center ice and the Flyers' All-Star forward had a lone path to the net. When he got to the slot, he fired a wrist shot that beat Nabokov over his glove.
The Islanders had a chance to get back in the game late in the second when the Flyers were whistled for consecutive penalties. Despite having four straight minutes of power-play time, the Isles were able to manage only one shot on net.

“We gave them two gifts,” Isles coach Jack Capuano said. “I thought we could have got some momentum back late in the second period when we had back-to-back power plays, and we didn’t execute at all.”
The Islanders finally cracked Bryzgalov at 13:30 of the third period when Grabner tipped a Streit point shot past Bryzgalov. Just 35 seconds later, Tavares scored his 31st of the season off a Streit pass, but despite a late flurry, that was as close as the Isles were able to get.

"We lacked energy, little bit of passion, in the first two periods," forward PA Parenteau said. "I don't know why, and it ended up costing us in this game."

It's the fourth straight one-goal game for the Islanders, and they've lost all of them. Parenteau admitted a level of frustration has set in.

"It's frustrating to see," he said. "We can't sustain pressure for 60 minutes. Sometimes we fade away for 10 or 15 minutes, and in this League it costs you a game. We have to stay focused until the end."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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