Ilya Bryzgalov definitely helped the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, in Game 1 of their 2012 Stanley Cup playoff series.
He also may have overcome his fear of bears.
with a few fans at Consol Energy Center dressed in bear suits—”I’m not afraid of anything. I’m afraid of bears, but bears in the forest,” Bryzgalov said two days before the game—the Flyers came back from a 3-0 first-period deficit to beat the Penguins in overtime on Jakub Voracek’s game-winning goal.
“How did (the bears) get tickets? they were everywhere. I was scared, too,” Flyers winger and former Penguins MVP Jaromir Jagr told reporters after the game.
Specifically, according to Bruce Arthur of the National Post, there was a polar bear and a brown bear in the front row behind Bryzgalov in the first and third period and a second brown bear five rows behind him. Bryzgalov actually has said that a friend in Russia was mauled by a bear, so his fear of the actual animal was well-founded.
after the first period, after goals by Sidney Crosby (an impressive backhand shot through traffic), Tyler Kennedy (off the rush and a feed from Jordan Staal) and Pascal Dupuis (a fluky sequence that featured two different tips before the goal itself), Bryzgalov and the Flyers were down three.
“I think we were in shock,” Flyers forward Brayden Schenn said after the game.
Philadelphia responded with a pair of goals from Danny Briere, one in the second and another in the third, before Schenn scored a game-tying power-play goal with 7:37 left in regulation.
then, with 2:23 left in the first overtime, Voracek ended it. a shot blocked by Penguins defenseman Kris Letang kicked out toward Voracek, who had position on Penguins center Jordan Staal and put the game-winner past Marc-Andre Fleury.
Philly’s Ilya Bryzgalov stayed strong in goal after an early struggle against the Penguins. (AP Photo)
Bryzgalov finished with 25 saves on 28 shots, including all of Pittsburgh’s last 15.
“When you’re down like that, you just have to go for it. Keep playing hockey. That how it goes,” said Bryzgalov, who signed a nine-year, $51 million contract with Philadelphia in the offseason.
Philadelphia’s familiar with the process; it won 20 regular-season games in which its opponent scored first.
“What we did today was unbelievable,” Bryzgalov said.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, will come into Friday’s Game 2 knowing that it wasted a prime chance at a 1-0 series lead, including three power-play chances to go up 4-0. the Penguins have now blown late, multiple-goal leads in three of their last four games against the Flyers.
“Especially in the playoffs, tomorrow is a new day. We have to move on,” Kennedy said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
the fact that Briere was clearly offsides on his first goal didn’t help matters, but coach Dan Bylsma wasn’t interested in using that as excuse.
“In the course of a game there’s a lot of scenarios that are close to being calls either way,” Bylsma said, according to the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman. “That’s not why we lost.”
with information from the associated Press.
Gazette fileFormer WMU hockey player Ian Slater announced Saturday he has signed a deal with the Adirondack Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.
KALAMAZOO – Ian Slater will once again happily embrace adversity.
The former Western Michigan University senior hockey forward signed a deal with the Adirondack Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.
The announcement was made during Saturday evening’s WMU hockey banquet.
“I feel extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity by the Philadelphia Flyers organization,” Slater said. “I’m not looking for anything to be handed to me, I just want the opportunity to go out and try to create a name for myself and do the hard work and hope everything pays off.”
Slater said the contract is directly with Adirondack and it is not an NHL entry level deal with the Flyers. He will join Adirondack when the team’s rookie camp begins next season.
The Broncos’ 5-foot-11, 192-pound two-time captain finished his career at WMU with 46 career points (23 goals, 23 assists).
He doesn’t have the most scoring talent in the game, but Slater brings to the table leadership and a work ethic that helped Western Michigan win the Central Collegiate Hockey Association tournament championship this past season.
For the Satellite Beach, Fla. native, the chance to play professionally next season is “icing on the cake.”
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Sidney Crosby, at last, found a way to silence the Flyers fans that love to hate him from warm-ups to the final horn.
Crosby and the Penguins dished out the kind of punishment they can only hope swings the series back their way.
- RESULTS: Penguins 10, Flyers 3
- PHOTOS: Images from the NHL playoffs
Pushed to the brink of a sweep, Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal pushed back with a vengeance, helping Pittsburgh score nine goals in the first two periods of a 10-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night in their opening-round playoff series.
“We’ve given ourselves a chance to get back to Pittsburgh,” Crosby said. “And that’s all we wanted out of this game.”
Staal had a hat trick, Malkin scored his first two goals of the series, and Crosby added one to help the Penguins cut the series deficit to 3-1. Game 5 is Friday in Pittsburgh.
Marc-Andre Fleury settled down after a shaky first period and had his best game of the series, easily outplaying counterpart Ilya Bryzgalov.
The Flyers led 3-2 when the Penguins reeled off eight consecutive goals to win the most lopsided game of the series.
“I just want to keep this playoff going,” Staal said. “And it was a big game from a lot of guys in the room tonight.”
Claude Giroux, Kimmo Timonen and Jakub Voracek all scored for the Flyers, who blew their chance at a stunning sweep of the 108-point Penguins. Bryzgalov, shaky all series, was at his worst in Game 4. He was yanked for Sergei Bobrovsky after allowing his fifth goal of the game.
“We’re going to find out what kind of team we are, how we are built,” Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr said. “If we are the team like we think we are, we’re going to have to respond the next game.”
After the team brawled to 158 penalty minutes in Game 3, the nastiness in the series spilled off the ice when Crosby said he didn’t like any of the Flyers. So, the Flyers whipped up orange T-shirts for the game that read, “Guess What? we Don’t like YOU Either!”
The tabloid Daily News photoshopped Crosby’s head on a lion with the headline, “The Cowardly Penguin: Time to Finish off Sniveling Sidney.” one Philadelphia restaurant stuck a sign in its window that read: Crosby: (n). a) a baby penguin. b) slang term for extremely weak.
It was Pittsburgh’s captain that got to savor the moment in Philadelphia, though.
“It’s not the first time I’ve seen something like that,” Crosby said. “Probably not surprised it was here that it came out.”
The Penguins were the first team to score at least 10 goals in a playoff game since the Los Angeles Kings scored 12 against the Calgary Flames on April 10, 1990, according to STATS LLC.
There’s little chance of a goalie controversy in Philadelphia. After earning huge cheers for stopping his first shot, Bobrovsky was worse than Bryzgalov, allowing four goals the rest of the second period.
“At that point, Bryz needed to come out,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “Generally speaking, we all need to be better at what we do. But he needed to come out of that situation. So, I changed it up, tried to shake the tree a little bit.”
Fleury made it stand the rest of the way and started to make up for a miserable first three games that saw him allow 17 goals.
Then again, Pittsburgh’s offense was so potent, not even Fleury could blow this one. He stopped all 14 shots over the final two periods.
Long despised in Philadelphia, Crosby scored his second goal of the series on a deflection that tied the game at 3-all in the first. Staal followed with a goal from the slot for a 4-3 lead and the Penguins never looked back.
The Penguins were short-handed in their last-gasp effort at trying to stave off elimination. Forward Arron Asham served the first game of a four-game suspension; and James Neal and Craig Adams served a one-game ban for their actions in Game 3.
Defenseman Paul Martin also sat out with an undisclosed injury.
Trying to stir the pot of an already emotional series, the Flyers showed league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan’s video explanations of the Asham and Neal suspensions.
The crowd was fired up. But so were the Penguins.
Kris Letang shot high over Bryzgalov’s right shoulder in the opening minutes of the second for his first goal of the series and a 5-3 lead. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette saw enough and yanked his $51 million goalie.
The goals kept coming at a clip more appropriate for an All-Star game. Staal scored his second, Steve Sullivan and Pascal Dupuis each scored, and Staal slid an easy one through Bobrovsky’s legs for the hat trick and a stunning five-goal third. The Penguins scored four power-play goals.
For a few minutes in the first, it looked like the Flyers were set to roll toward a sweep. The Flyers scored eight goals in each of the last two games, and scored three on the power play in the first. But the offense dried up and the Penguins took over.
“It was a crazy game in a lot of ways,” Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. “But we got a lot of big saves at key times, and we were able to turn it the other way.”
Flyers fans roared when Lauren Hart, the daughter of longtime former Flyers broadcaster Gene Hart, sang God Bless America, alternating lyrics with Kate Smith, who was on a video image. Smith’s rendition of the song has been a rallying anthem for the Flyers since the mid-1970s. And before the game, fans placed roses in the hand of Smith’s statue outside the new entertainment complex across from the arena
They might need a new good-luck charm if the series returns to Philadelphia for Game 6 on Sunday.
Notes: The Flyers are 7-1 in Pittsburgh’s new arena, which opened last season. … The Flyers have nine power-play goals in the series. … The Penguins haven’t been swept in a series since 1979 vs. Boston.
Copyright 2012 The associated Press. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
PHILADELPHIA — Fists were flying faster than shots on goal. Sidney Crosby and Claude Giroux even became knotted in the pushing, pulling and shoving, a pair of superstars willing to mix it up to prove which team was the baddest on the ice and the scoreboard.
The Penguins and Flyers talked trash, laid the smack down, and played one wildly entertaining game. The result was still the same. The Flyers rallied from another early deficit for a decisive Game 3 victory that placed them on the brink of an improbable sweep.
Danny Briere, Matt Read and Max Talbot each scored two goals to lead Philadelphia to an 8-4 victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday in a fight-filled game in the Eastern Conference quarterfinal.
Giroux and Wayne Simmonds also scored to help the Flyers take a 3-0 lead in the combustible best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Wednesday night in Philadelphia. The Flyers scored 20 goals in the first three games.
“our goal is to finish it right away,” Briere said.
The goals might be hard to find on a highlight reel. This one was all about the brawls more suitable for a UFC card. Three players were tossed in the first period. There was a rare fight between superstars when Crosby squared off against Giroux.
No one got the better end of that scrap. but by the end, Flyers fans serenaded the Penguins with booming chants of “You can’t beat us!”
“all three games were kind of weird games,” Giroux said. “I guess I like weird games because we always finish by winning.”
Jordan Staal and James Neal scored twice for a Penguins team pushed to the limit by its hated, intrastate rival. Marc-Andre Fleury was benched after allowing six goals in two periods. he has allowed a whopping 17 goals in the first three games.
Coach Dan Bylsma said Fleury would start, “the next four games.”
Hard to imagine at this rate, especially with NHL scoring leader Evgeni Malkin (109 points) yet to score a goal for the Penguins.
The Flyers played a postseason video that billed their run as the “Fight to the Cup.” they never expected a first period that would have left those old Broad Street Bullies smiling.
Each team had their top defenseman — Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang and Philadelphia’s Kimmo Timonen — tossed. so was Penguins forward Aaron Asham.
But the scene ripped straight out of the pages of Ripley’s came when Giroux and Crosby went at it against the backboard.
“in the end, that’s really playoff hockey,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “A couple of the best players in the world dropping the gloves going at it. would I rather have G keep his gloves on? sure. but when he’s fighting Sidney Crosby, that’s playoff hockey. That’s this series.”
Crosby ignited the scrum when he twice jabbed goalie Ilya Bryzgalov’s glove against the ice. Giroux, third in the NHL in points this season, shoved Crosby from behind. Crosby, clearly not caring about his history of concussions, retaliated by shoving Giroux’s head against the glass.
While the 20,092 fans dressed in their matching Hulk Hogan-inspired orange T-shirts roared, Timonen and Letang exchanged shots, and Jakub Voracek and Pittsburgh’s Steve Sullivan each were penalized for roughing.
Timonen and Letang were both hit with 5 minutes for fighting and were ejected because they were assessed a major penalty after the original fight had started.
Crosby insisted the Penguins weren’t getting rattled.
“There’s more than one team getting in those things,” he said. “You can make a story all you want about us getting frustrated. They’re doing the same things we are. It’s intense.”
The on-ice violence was just warming up.
Flyers forward Brayden Schenn rammed Paul Martin into the boards, turned around and was crosschecked in the upper body by Asham. Asham jumped a defenseless Schenn and connected with a vicious right to earn the match penalty — a penalty imposed on a player who deliberately attempts to injure or who deliberately injures an opponent in any manner. Asham could get suspended for the punch.
As the game wound down, Crosby yanked the back of Scott Hartnell’s jersey and the fireworks went off again. Simmonds, Neal and Pittsburgh’s Craig Adams also were socked with penalties.
The slugfest on the ice overshadowed the one on the scoreboard.
Staal scored only 3:52 into the game to give the Penguins the first goal for the third straight game. It marked the 13th time out of the last 15 games the Flyers have trailed 1-0. at that point, the Flyers had been outscored 7-1 in the first period in this series.
The Flyers rallied from a 3-0 hole in Game 1, and deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 in Game 2.
They did it again. Talbot tapped a rebound toward Fleury that the Penguins goalie tried to stab at with his glove. The puck trickled by for the tying goal.
Briere scored consecutive goals off a 5-on-3 power play and a one-timer to leave Fleury reeling.
“I thought the first two games in Pittsburgh were crazy,” he said. “This one was even wilder.”
Neal scored the first of his two goals to make it 3-1. Read ended the period when he snagged the puck behind the net, skated around and buried it for a 4-2 lead.
Crosby and Bryzgalov jawed at each other as the teams skated toward the locker room.
Philadelphia’s lead stood even as the 108-point Penguins attacked with their offense instead of their fists in the second period.
Neal and Read swapped goals to open the second. Staal knocked in a rebound to help the Penguins close to 5-4.
Simmonds, though, took a perfect entry pass from Braydon Coburn and backhanded in the fast-break attempt for the insurance goal. that was their third power-play goal and the Flyers also had a short-handed score.
The Penguins were assessed 46 penalty minutes, and the Flyers 34, through the first two periods.
“I don’t like them, because I don’t like any guy on their team,” Crosby said.
Fleury, having a series to forget, was replaced by Brent Johnson to open the third. new goalie, same result. Giroux scored 27 seconds into the third on Philadelphia’s first shot of the period.
The scoring continued and so did the hard hits. Neal flattened Game 2 star Sean Couturier in the waning minutes and sent the Flyers rookie center to the locker room. Players from both teams — including Schenn and Crosby — had to be separated during a melee along the boards. Neal appeared to target Giroux’s head in the third, though the Flyers star ducked and landed softly on the ice.
“We saw Neal going after Sean’s head and Claude’s head,” Briere said. “Obviously, he had a plan in mind.”
It’s a plan Bylsma wants to avoid.
“The way the game was called, there was a lot of extracurricular activity during and after the plays,” he said. “That’s an area of the game we want to stay away from. We don’t want to be involved in those situations against this team.”
• Notes: The Flyers hold a 3-0 lead in a playoff series for the 11th time. … Johnson made his third career postseason relief appearance for the Penguins. … The Penguins have lost six straight playoff games.
WEIRTON, W.Va.The owner of Dee Jays in Weirton, Dewey Guida, said he has enjoyed the all of the recent excitement surrounding his famous ribs. after serving the Philadelphia Flyers after every recent win in Pittsburgh, Guida said he decided to tell Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette the sales would be suspended. “After the five times that they beat (the Pittsburgh Penguins) in the Consol Center, I said, ‘You know what, Peter, it’s been really wonderful serving you guys but…,’” said Guida. Guida said he is only serving the Pittsburgh Penguins through the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And, he welcomed a recent call from Pens head coach Dan Bylsma. “I said, ‘It’s about time you guys got in touch with me.’ he said, ‘Dewey, I want ribs in my locker room to feed the Penguins at noon. be there.’ I said, ‘Coach, whatever you want. I’m a Penguin fan and this is my greatest honor,’” said Guida. Root Sports documented the delivery as the ribs made their way from the grill to the stomachs of a bunch of hungry players. now, Guida is calling it the team’s new mojo. Game 2 is in Pittsburgh on Friday night, and Game 3 will be played in Philadelphia on Sunday. Sunday’s game will be broadcast on WTOV9 at 3 p.m.