Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gagne scores in return, Flyers win 4-0

February 27, 2013

The force was strong with the Flyers on Wednesday night.

Ilya Bryzgalov, wearing his new Star Wars themed mask, turned in a solid performance in net, and Simon Gagne scored in his return to Philadelphia.

Plus, Wayne Simmonds created a new trend on Twitter. But most importantly, the Flyers beat the Washington Capitals 4-0, to take control of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

It took just 23 seconds into the game for the Flyers to score.

In a scrum in front of the net, Scott Hartnell, while on his knees, sent a pass across the crease to Claude Giroux. Giroux took the puck and went top-shelf for his seventh goal of the season and a 1-0 Flyers lead.

The Flyers never looked back from the quick start.

Wayne Simmonds scored a power play goal 4:04 into the period, using a backhand to put in a rebound created by Scott Hartnell's shot.

Simmond's lost his balance taking the shot, and landed on his back. When the red lamp lit, he turned his fall into a celebration by raising his arms and legs straight into the air. And thus, Wayneing was born.

The most talked about goal, however, is probably going to be the one that came 3:54 into the second period.

In his first game since being traded back to the Flyers from the Los Angeles Kings, Simon Gagne sent the Wells Fargo Center crowd into a frenzy.

Gagne scored a power play goal that was set up by assists from Danny Briere and Brayden Schenn.

Capitals' goaltender Brandon Holtby was able to get his stick on the puck, but wasn't able to keep Gagne's shot out of the net.

The goal was Gagne's first all season, and put the Flyers up 3-0.

Holtby would not last the rest of the game.

After allowing one more goal off a slap-shot by Max Talbot at 14:55 in the second, Holtby was pulled and Phillip Grubauser made his NHL debut.

Grubauser didn't let up a goal when he came into the game, but it didn't matter by then. The Flyers had complete control over the game, out-shooting the Capitals 32-24 by the final horn.

Ilya Bryzgalov had a shutout going until there was 2:09 left in the third period, when he gave up a goal to Washington's Joel Ward.

Bryzgalov made 23 saves to bounce back from a rough last few games.

The Flyers (10-11-1, 21 points) pulled within a game of .500 once again. They will have a three-day break to prepare for the Ottawa Senators, where they will look to break even for the first time this season.

Extras: Erik Gustafsson left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury, after blocking a shot from Washington's Eric Fehr. During the second intermission, NBC's hockey analyst Mike Milbury blasted Capitals' captain Alexander Ovechkin for his poor play. With 25 seconds left in the game, Harry Zolnierczyk received a game misconduct for a questionable hit on Washington's Mathieu Perreault. Zolneirczyk also received a five-minute kneeing major and will probably have a talk with NHL  disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan in the near future. Gagne waved to the crowd after a tribute video was played during the game, which generated cheers from the fans.

(Gagne Image from
(Simmonds Image from
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(Bryzgalov Image from

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