Jakub Voracek Injury Another Reminder Of Ambiguity Of Rule 48

Two days after shutting out the Capitals, Bryz made 37 saves and earned the first star as the Flyers downed the Red Wings 3-2 at Wells Fargo Center.

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Jakub Voracek Injury Another Reminder Of Ambiguity Of Rule 48

Detroit defender Niklas Kronwall knocked Flyers' forward Jakub Voracek out of last night's game with a viscious shoulder-to-head check. The hit went unpenalized, and will likely go unpunished by the NHL.

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Flyers Vs Red Wings Score: Bryzgalov Shines As Flyers Win 3-2

Ilya Bryzgalov seems to be heating up at just the right time. Two days after shutting out the Capitals, Bryz made 37 saves and earned the first star as the Flyers downed the Red Wings 3-2 at Wells Fargo Center.

Henrik Zetterberg opened the scoring just four minutes into the game, but the Flyers would respond with goals from Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. This would not be the first time that Jake Voracek would be a major topic on the night.

About midway through the second period, the Flyers blocked a shot and Voracek was picked up the puck to start a rush the other way. He seemed to glance over and see Kornwall, but momentarily looked back for the puck and Swedish defenseman seized on the opportunity to lay as nasty of a hit as you will ever see. Check out the video here.

Voracek did not return, but after the game the Flyers said he was given stitches for a cut on his mouth and would be re-evaluated tomorrow. He reportedly did not show concussion symptoms.

Max Talbot would give the Flyers a 3-1 lead later that period when he tallied shorthanded. It was his 18th goal of the year. Jonathan Franzen would pull the Red Wings back to within one late in the third period, but Bryzgalov would turn them away time and time again as the Flyers hung on for the win.

For more on the Flyers, visit our team page or our blog Broad Street Hockey.

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Video: Jakub Voracek Gets Huge Hit From Niklas Kronwall

Flyers forward Jakub Voracek scored to give the Flyers a lead over the Detroit Red Wings in the first period of their game Tuesday night. However, that won't be the highlight featuring him that anyone remembers. It probably won't be something Voracek remembers either.

About midway through the second period, the Flyers blocked a shot and Voracek was picking up the puck to start a rush the other way. He seemed to glance over and see Niklas Kornwall, but momentarily looked back for the puck and Swedish defenseman seized on the opportunity to lay an absolutely devastating hit. Voracek went down and you could immediately see that he was in a bit of trouble. No penalty was called and Jake lay on the ice for quite a while. In fact at one point he tried to get up, but couldn't. He did not return to the game and haven't said much on his status other than that he had stitches around his mouth and would be re-evaluated tomorrow.


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Flyers Vs. Red Wings: Philadelphia To Retire Mark Howe's Jersey Before Tuesday's Game

The Philadelphia Flyers host the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center at 7 p.m. (TV: CSN-PH).

Both teams have been battling injuries this season and both teams have lost their division lead because of the injuries. The Red Wings are tied for the Central Division lead in the West with the St. Louis Blues. The Flyers are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference and trail the Rangers and Penguins in the Atlantic Division.

Detroit will be without Todd Bertuzzi, Jonathan Ericsson, Pavel Datsyuk, Jakub Kindl, Nicklas Lidstrom, and its No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard, who are all injured. The Flyers won't have Kimmo Timonen and Andrej Meszaros due to lower-body injuries. In addition, James van Riemsdyk underwent surgery on his broken foot earlier today.

The Flyers will be looking for their third win in a row on Tuesday. The team will retire Mark Howe's #2 jersey tonight before the puck gets dropped. Howe will only be the fifth Flyer to have his jersey number retired and the first since 1990. The Flyers are 3-0 in games in which a player's jersey has been retired. Philadelphia has outscored their opponents 18-7 in those games.

Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to be in net for the Flyers. He's coming off a shutout of the Capitals and has turned away 77 out of 81 shots in his last three starts. The Red Wings took the first meeting between the teams this season, 4-3, in Detroit. However, the Red Wings are winless in regular season games in Philadelphia since 1997.

For more on the Flyers, visit our team page or our blog Broad Street Hockey.

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Ilya Bryzgalov, Philadelphia Flyers Step Up With 1-0 Shutout Win Over Caps In Face Of Adversity

It's called stepping up in the face of adversity, and that's exactly what Ilya Bryzgalov and his Philadelphia Flyers teammates did Sunday night in a 1-0 win at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

It was announced late in the afternoon that two of Philly's top four defensemen, Kimmo Timonen and Andrej Meszaros, are listed as "out indefinitely" with lower body injuries. In their place in the lineup against the Caps were Andreas Lilja, a healthy scratch in 11 of the last 12 games, and Erik Gustafsson, who was recalled earlier in the day from the Adirondack Phantoms.

Ironically, the Flyers responded with one of their best defensive efforts of the season. Sure, they yielded 34 shots on goal against a Capitals team that is struggling to score goals -- this was Washington's second consecutive home shutout loss -- but it's exactly the same premise as the old saying about the good teams beating the teams they should defeat.

As Alex Ovechkin (seven shots on goal) and Alexander Semin (three shots) shot blanks all night, there were several keys to Philadelphia's gutty performance:

  • After allowing several high quality scoring chances early in the contest, the Flyers' defensive effort improved as the game progressed. Many of the Caps' opportunities after the midway point of regulation were from the perimeter, and there were no rebound chances provided by Bryzgalov and the Philly defense.
  • Bryzgalov was on his game, showing yet another glimpse of the goaltender the Flyers knew they were getting when he inked the 9-year, $51.5 million free agent pact last summer. He was solid in all facets of his game, but perhaps his best stop of the night was on a breakaway by ex-Flyer Mike Knuble with just over 13 minutes remaining in the second period (watch the sequence here).
  • Getting the first goal of the game for the first time in the last 10 showed how much better the team plays with the lead than having to continually come back from early deficits. If the Flyers had allowed the first goal, it could very well had been Philadelphia that was shutout, something that has been the case for the Flyers in two of the previous four tilts coming into Sunday night's action.
  • It wasn't the usual suspects that got the only goal they needed. It wasn't the Claude Giroux line, it wasn't Wayne Simmonds or Maxime Talbot. The game's only goal was netted by the fourth line, an Eric Wellwood deflection in the slot of a Pavel Kubina point shot that beat Caps' netminder Michal Neuvirth (watch the goal here). This is the type of contribution all the better teams in the League require from time-to-time, and it earned the inconsistent Flyers their first back-to-back-victories in almost two months.
  • In what was a tremendously physical contest, Philly skaters played with a much-needed composure and did not allow the Capitals a single solitary power play chance. That was a big thing as the team's penalty kill has been atrocious, and one of the reasons for their recent bout of misfortune.
  • While Washington skaters blocked just eight Flyers' attempted shots, the Flyers muted 15 Caps' shots, which includes a game-high six by recently-acquired Nicklas Grossman. He also delivered six hits, which tied Ovechkin for the most in the game. The Swedish-born rear guard has fit in nicely on Philly's blue line, and it's hard to imagine Holmgren not signing the pending UFA to a contract extension. His play and number eight uniform number is reminiscent of one of the top defensive-defenseman in the franchise's history, Brad Marsh.

The defensive corps gave a yeomen's effort. Braydon Coburn led the way in time on ice with 24:20, while the others saw time as evenly distributed as we've seen from Peter Laviolette's squad in recent times: Grossman 22:33, Matt Carle 21:30, Kubina 19:06, Gustafsson 15:24, Lilja 15:02.

And there was a bit of adversity experienced by some of the skaters who were healthy enough to play:

  • Gustafsson was absolutely drilled by Troy Brouwer along the wall in the game's opening minutes. The hit provided such force, it actually knocked open the latched door of the Capitals' bench (watch the hit here).
  • Kubina missed a bit of time after being hit in the face with the puck, went to the locker room to get some quick stitches, then came right back to continue to contribute.
  • Talbot was on a partial breakaway when Dmitry Orlov took an angle and appeared to grab a shoulder, sending the Flyers' forward twisting awkwardly into the boards, which he hit squarely at high speed, and back-first. No penalty was called on the Caps' defender, and Talbot was none too happy at the non-call.

The forwards did an excellent job of helping out in the defensive effort. There was little separation between the forwards and blue liners, which kept Washington skaters playing along the perimeter, and kept Bryzgalov's sight-lines open.

It's amazing how much better a goaltender can play when he can actually see the shots he's attempting to stop.

By virtue of the triumph, the Flyers gained two valuable points in the Eastern Conference standings. The win pulled Philly to within two points of the fourth-place Pittsburgh Penguins, and moved them two points ahead of the New Jersey Devils and three in front of the Ottawa Senators. Philadelphia holds a game in hand on NJ and three on Ottawa.

They Were Merely Freshmen

Many critics of Paul Holmgren's offseason maneuverings asked the question "Where are the goals going to come from without Jeff Carter and Mike Richards?" The answer is "From everyone."

One area of contribution is the club's first-year players. Wellwood's goal -- his second in only his sixth game of the year -- was the 46th of the season scored by Flyers' rookie, which represents 22.1% of the team's offensive output for the season.

Taking a Flyer: Laviolette's timeout magic, which had not worked for some time until Thursday night against the New York Islanders, worked again tonight, as Wellwood's goal came shortly after the coach's pep talk.....Another bit of good karma for the defensive unit was both assists on the Wellwood tally went to defensemen -- Kubina, who shot the puck, and Carle.....With the shutout, Bryzgalov became just the third Flyers' goaltender to notch at least three shutouts in a single season since the lockout -- Martin Biron had five in 2007-08, and Ray Emery posted three during his only (injury-plagued) year in Philly, 2009-10.....It was also the first 1-0 shutout by a Flyers' netminder since Antero Niittymaki pulled off the feat on December 30, 2007.....The Flyers failed to score on their lone PP chance, while the Caps had none. It was incredible there weren't more penalties called in such a physical affair, but other than fighting majors to Scott Hartnell (coming to the defense of Gustafsson after the huge) and Brouwer, the only other infraction whistled was a Jason Chimera slashing minor.....Despite logging a high amount of ice time among Philly forwards (18:51), Danny Briere's goal-scoring drought reached 19 games.....Jaromir Jagr posted a team-high four shots on goal.

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Capitals Vs. Flyers: Philadelphia Searches For Consistency In Nation's Capital

The Philadelphia Flyers will look for their first string of back-to-back victories since Jan. 10-12 Sunday, as they visit the Washington Capitals in a Eastern Conference showdown (7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network).

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