Bryzgalov, Couturier Lead Flyers Past Wild
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Looking to assert themselves at home, the Philadelphia Flyers started off with one of their best all-around games of the season.
Sean Couturier had a short-handed goal to lead a balanced scoring attack and the Flyers beat the Minnesota Wild 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell, Braydon Coburn and Jakub Voracek also had goals and Jaromir Jagr had two assists for the Flyers, who got points from 12 players.
“Every line was cycling, every line was getting shots, it was a big win,” Hartnell said.
The Flyers began a stretch of 11 of 15 games at home after playing 20 of 29 on the road. They improved to 11-6-2 at the Wells Fargo Center.
“We wanted to come out hard,” Timonen said. “Our home record has not been where we want it. We wanted to play a full 60 minutes and show where our attitude is.”
Darroll Powe scored against his former team for Minnesota’s goal.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 25 saves to earn the win, a day after coach Peter Laviolette reiterated he’s the No. 1 goaltender.
Bryzgalov is having the worst season of his nine-year career while backup Sergei Bobrovsky has far better stats.
But Bryzgalov signed a $51 million, nine-year contract in the offseason and will be given every opportunity to prove his worth heading into the playoffs.
“The whole team was satisfied with the way we played,” Bryzgalov said. “It was a great team win. All four lines were rolling, playing physical and we were safe and sound in the defensive zone.”
The Flyers are 5-2 since losing the Winter Classic to the New York Rangers.
The Wild are 1-5-1 in their past seven games and 2-10-4 since winning seven in a row from Nov. 28 to Dec. 10.
“All it takes is one or two bad things to happen and we get away from what we are supposed to do,” center Kyle Brodziak said. “We’ve got to find a way to emotionally control ourselves better.”
Timonen gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal less than three minutes in. Timonen’s slap shot from just inside the blue line sailed past goaltender Josh Harding, who was screened by a teammate jostling with Wayne Simmonds in front of the net.
It stayed that way until midway through the second period when the teams scored three goals in a span of 2:20.
Couturier got things started for Philadelphia on a give-and-go with Matt Read during a two-on-one break. He nearly whiffed on his shot, but got enough of the puck for it to trickle into an open net. The 19-year-old rookie has a goal in five straight games.
“He’s never on the wrong side of the puck,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “His goals have been impressive.”
Powe cut it to 2-1 just 71 seconds later when his slap shot from outside the left faceoff circle hit defenseman Andrej Meszaros’ stick and skipped over Bryzgalov’s glove.
But the Flyers answered 69 seconds later. Coburn’s wrister from the blue line hit defenseman Nick Schultz and went in for a 3-1 lead.
Hartnell scored on a deflection to make it 4-1 a few minutes later. Hartnell has a team-high 20 goals.
Voracek extended the lead to 5-1 in the third.
“It’s ridiculous on our part,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “Just because bad things happen, we can’t play our game. We have to fix that.”
Notes: Read also had two assists. … This was the only meeting of the season between the teams. The Flyers are 8-3-2 against the Wild since they entered the league in 2000. … Claude Giroux recorded his 200th career point with an assist on Timonen’s goal. … Hartnell has six career 20-goal seasons. … Powe’s fourth goal was his first since Dec. 8. … Couturier has five goals and three assists in the past nine games. … The Wild are 3-14-5 when allowing three or more goals.
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