EDMONTON, Alberta – Wayne Simmonds said he knew Ilya Bryzgalov would be on his “A-game” Saturday night. But he was also quite familiar with Bryzgalov’s weaknesses.
That helped Simmonds in a big way against the Oilers, when he scored two power-play goals in the Flyers’ 4-3 shootout win (see story).
“Obviously, we had Bryz for the last two years,” Simmonds said. “I actually thought he played a really good game. He made a lot of stops for them, and we just had to keep crashing the net. And we had some really nice goals in that shootout, so it was nice to get two points.”
Trailing 2-0 heading into the second period, Simmonds came alive for the Flyers in the middle stanza. He scored first by tipping in a shot from Giroux at 3:37, and built on it with another marker at 12:13. The team’s momentum seemed to follow his lead.
On top of his two-goal effort in Edmonton, Simmonds had scored two goals in the two games that preceded it, against Minnesota and Columbus. He’s only the third Flyer to ever post three consecutive multi-goal games. Reggie Leach did it in 1981 and 1976, and Ross Lonsberry also accomplished the feat in 1976.
Simmonds is in the midst of a five-game point streak, just one game shy of his career high.
“Sometimes,” he said, “you just get the bounces.”
Simmonds hasn’t changed his game at all recently, and he’s not playing with a new line. He’s simply finding ways to score, which he wasn’t able to do – for whatever reason – early on in the year.
“That’s what he does best,” Giroux said. “He’s in front of the net, he gets those goals that people might think it’s easy to get those goals, but they’re the hardest. He gets a beating out there, it’s good to see him get those goals.”
Simmonds, of course, isn’t the only Flyer in the midst of an impressive point streak. Giroux’s two assists Saturday night extended his streak to eight games, a career high. Jakub Voracek, who also registered a pair of assists, saw his streak continue on to nine games – also a career record.
The Flyers, as they’ve needed to, are beginning to make up for lost time.
“They all had kind of tough starts, like the team,” coach Craig Berube said. “They weren’t producing at the time. They’re doing a good job now. Their work ethic’s good, and they’re doing a lot of good things in the offensive zone, and the power play’s been very good for a while now.”
In their win in Edmonton, the Flyers allowed more than one goal in the first period for the first time this season. … The Flyers had three power-play goals in the win for just the second time this season. … The win was the Flyers’ first at Rexall Place since 2001.