Ilya Bryzgalov was arguably the Philadelphia Flyers' best player in the Game 4 loss to the New Jersey Devils, making 39 stops and keeping the game close. Facing elimination in Game 5 on home ice, the Flyers needed another strong performance from Bryz.
In other words, they needed the opposite of this:
Kimmo Timonen moved the puck out of harm's way to Bryzgalov (or so he thought). Rather than defending the pass, Clarkson pressured Bryzgalov's below-average puck-handling skills. Bryzgalov sent the puck directly off the shaft of Clarkson's stick and into the net for a 2-1 lead.
Said coach Peter Laviolette after the play, on NBC: "That's a tough goal right there."
It was Bryzgalov's second goal allowed in the first period, as Bryce Salavdor tallied on a deflected shot on which Bryzgalov let the top of the net vulnerable (and, as you'll in the clip, the Devils may have gotten the benefit of an missed offside call).
In a related story, Mike Smith has a 1.77 GAA and a .948 save percentage for the Phoenix Coyotes. He'll be facing Mike Richards and Jeff Carter for the right to play for the Stanley Cup later this week.
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