Sunday, January 27, 2013

Leighton to start against Tampa Bay

January 27, 2013

Ilya Bryzgalov started all five of the Flyers' games to start the season, but he will be getting a break tonight in Tampa Bay.

Backup goaltender Michael Leighton will be getting the start tonight against the Lightning as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer's Sam Carchidi via Twitter.

Leighton's last regular season start in the NHL was back on December 30, 2010 against the Los Angeles Kings. He allowed four goals, but made 32 saves en route to a 7-4 Flyers win.

In the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs Leighton started game six, becoming the third goalie the Flyers started in what would become a seven game series against the Buffalo Sabres.

Leighton allowed three goals off of eight shots in the first period of that game, causing Head Coach Peter Laviolette to put in Brian Boucher.

The Flyers would go on to win game six and seven with Boucher as their goalie.

Leighton is primarily remembered by Flyers fans as the unsung hero of the team's run to the Stanley Cup Finals in the 2009-2010 season.

After Brian Boucher got injured in game five of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against Boston, Leighton  took over in goal to help the Flyers complete the famous comeback from being down three game to none.

In the Eastern Conference Finals, Leighton shutout the Montreal Canadiens in games one, two and four. The Flyers went on to win the series in five games to get to the Cup Finals.

Bryzgalov, who held both the New York Rangers and the Florida Panthers to one goal each in the past two games, has a 2.21 goals against average and a .923 save percentage in his first five starts.

(Image from

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