April 20, 2012
Flyers will start BryzgalovLook to eliminate Penguins tonight
By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency
PITTSBURGH - There's no question about which goalie will start in net tonight for the Philadelphia Flyers.
The key question when it comes to the Flyers and playoff goaltending is who is going to finish?
Flighty goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who was pulled eary in the second period of Game 4 after giving up five goals on 18 shots, will get the start for the Flyers in Game 5 tonight.
The Flyers will be looking to finish off the Pittsburgh Penguins, who avoided elimination in Game 4 by victimizing Bryzgalov and backup goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky by a 10-3 score.
After an optional morning skate today, Flyers star Claude Giroux said he expects the good Bryzgalov to show up tonight.
"He's going to be great tonight. I've got a feeling. He's focused and he wants to win. He can't wait for tonight," Giroux told reporters.
Bryzgalov's teammates were coming to his defence -- at least verbally, if not on the ice -- and said the club's lopsided loss was a team effort.
"It's not the goalie's fault. It's the whole team's fault," said Flyers veteran Jaromir Jagr. "There are turnovers and their whole team attacks the net. They keep coming. We as forwards need to backcheck every time. We need to do a better job."
The Flyers are 19-2 in series they have led 3-1. The last time they lost a series when leading 3-1 was in 2000 to the New Jersey Devils.
Bryzgalov will have a different looking defence corps in front of him tonight as defenceman Nicklas Grossmann is out with a concussion sustained in Game 4 when he was hit in the head by Penguins' Tyler Kennedy and Evgeni Malkin.
Rookie Erik Gustafsson will go into the lineup for Grossmann. Changes on the blueline are nothing new to the Flyers who are also without captain Chris Pronger, Andrej Meszaros and Marc-Andre Bourdon right now.
"Our team has done an exceptional job this year (coping with injuries)," said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. "Guys moving up in their role. Guys coming into the lineup, who had been out of the lineup a little bit. Recalls we've used from our minor-league affiliate. I think our team has handled those situations well.
"The fact that we've lost another defenceman is hard to take, but in saying that, our team has filled this spot all year long. We had close to 450 man games to injury. This isn't something new to us. We'd much rather have Grossmann in there. That's not an option right now."
The Penguins will be looking to pick up where they left off in Game 4. They were 4-for-9 on the powerplay in a series where both teams have excelled in man-advantage situations.
The Penguins will have top-scoring winger James Neal and penalty killer Craig Adams back after both served one-game suspensions in Game 4. The Penguins are expected to go with seven defencemen again tonight in the absence of Paul Martin, injuried in Game 3.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said his team finally "played the right way," in Game 4.
"Our game, I think, is a speed game. We generate chances off the rush or off the forecheck. When we're playing well, we're doing both of those, it's not one or the other," Crosby said this morning. "We like to play with a quick pace."