Bryzgalov great, but Flyers can't overcome early goal vs. Sharks

SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Philadelphia Flyers covers up the puck keeping it away from Andrew Desjardins #69 of the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion at San Jose on February 28, 2012 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

[Complete Coverage] - [San Jose Reaction] - [Discussion Thread]
[Event Summary] - [PBP Log] - [TOI Log] - [Faceoff Report]
[Shift Charts] - [Head-to-Head TOI] - [Shot Differential] - [5-on-5 Faceoffs]

Someday, the Flyers will know what it's like to score first. That day is not today.

For the eighth straight game, the Flyers allowed the first goal -- this time, less than two minutes in to the first period -- and that goal would be all the San Jose Sharks needed to get the 1-0 victory. It wasn't for the Flyers lack of trying.

We could say this game was another lost opportunity -- another "bad game" in the back-and-forth between quality performances and duds for the Flyers. But that wouldn't be accurate. Tonight was one of those nights where the Flyers certainly seemed like the better team throughout -- plenty of puck possession, plenty of zone time, plenty of chances.

Where they failed was in getting quality second-chance opportunities on Antti Niemi, who was brilliant all night in seeing the puck and collapsing on it, eliminating a number of potential scoring chances for the Flyers. The Sharks defense was particularly good in helping out their netminder as well, and it was likely the difference in the game.

Ilya Bryzgalov was very good yet again, and dare I say he might be settling in a bit? Putting aside that first period in Calgary on Saturday, Bryz has put together three really fine games in a row here and just seems more comfortable in the crease. Let's hope he keeps it up once the Flyers return home on Thursday to face the Islanders.

- Danny Briere had a pretty interesting night tonight. Started on the fourth line, took shifts on the first line by the third period, and was decked from behind by a giant Pickle in the third period. He got up slowly after hitting his head/neck/shoulder/or something into the corner boards, but he didn't appear to miss a shift.

- How the Flyers didn't score in the final two minutes of the game is beyond me. They deserved it, but that's the way it goes some times.

- Claude Giroux didn't have a shot on goal tonight. First time all year that's happened. Didn't have any missed shots, either. Weird.

Questions with Answers

  1. How's Ilya Bryzgalov play tonight? Bryz was great. Kept the Flyers in it.
  2. How do the Sharks look coming off of their long road trip? Not as sluggish as I thought they'd be, but you could tell the Flyers definitely wore them down by the third period. Sucks they couldn't get a bounce, though.
  3. From my recollection, the ice is not that good in San Jose. Any impact on tonight's game? I didn't notice it, but it's 1 in the morning.
  4. Top line is reunited. What do they do? Lines were shuffled all night.

Comment of the Night

There's always next leap year.

>> CloudGiroux

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