PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Matt Read knocked in a rebound with 18.6 seconds left to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 2-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night.
Read’s sixth goal of the season made a winner out of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov in his first game against the Coyotes. Bryzgalov spent four years with Phoenix and blossomed into one of the NHL’s top goalies. Phoenix sent Bryzgalov’s negotiating rights to the Flyers and he signed a nine-year, $51 million deal.
James van Riemsdyk scored for the Flyers. Mikkel Boedker had the lone goal for the Coyotes.
Mike Smith has replaced Bryzgalov in the Phoenix net, and he had a solid game in stopping 40 shots.
Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr left with an undisclosed lower body injury. Jagr played only 1 minute, 22 seconds over three shifts before being forced out in the first period.
Bryzgalov said this week he was looking forward to a special game against his former team. He made 30 saves and had the stop of the game when he snagged Ray Whitney’s breakaway moments after a Philadelphia turnover.
He got the win thanks to Philadelphia’s late push for the winner. Jakub Voracek and Max Talbot assisted on the deciding goal that came when Read pounded the puck past a surprised Smith.
The Flyers had something to celebrate as they held their breath waiting for news on Jagr. Jagr has six goals and 17 points in his first season with the Flyers and his first NHL season after a three-year stint in Russia. His jovial personality has been a good fit in the locker room and he has been on a hot streak. He quietly went straight for the locker room and there didn’t appear to be a clear hit on him.
With Jagr out, van Riemsdyk took his place on a line that included Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell. Van Riemsdyk scored his seventh goal in the second to make it 1-0.
Boedker tied it 3:38 into the third period off a rebound into the side of the net.
Even though Smith took the loss, he kept the Coyotes in the game facing heavy pressure all night. He stopped all 12 shots in the first period and 16 more in the second. It just wasn’t enough.
NOTES: Flyers C Zac Rinaldo was given a 10-minute misconduct. … Former Flyers D Mark Howe received a standing ovation in his first game at Philadelphia since he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. … Flyers F Danny Briere bloodied Rostislav Klesla with a high stick. … Flyers D Erik Gustafsson had wrist surgery and will miss six weeks.
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