Both have performed exceptionally well in their NHL careers. Both have shined in the playoffs, although they have never raised a Cup. And both had something to prove once this season began – one for a new team, the other for his only.
Ilya Bryzgalov began the 2011-2012 season with the Philadelphia Flyers, his first with the squad. Carey Price was returning as the Montreal Canadiens’ starting goaltender after proving his worth over the past four seasons.
Though they both entered the season full of promise, only one looks to be playoff-bound.
The season is only a few weeks away from being done and the tightness of the division races have heated up immensely.
The Philadelphia Flyers (42-23-8; 92 points) and Washington Capitals (37-30-6; 80 points) are both in the middle of two very important division races. Both teams trail their respective division-leading New York Rangers and Florida Panthers by five points.
In Philadelphia, spring is in the air you can hear the birds sing during the day and the crickets chirp at night. The weather is starting to warm up now, Major League Baseball's spring training has already begun and the Philadelphia Flyers are getting in playoff mode.
The feeling arrived this weekend during back-to back matinee games starting with the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.
The Flyers went into Boston needing to get two points. They left with one, and they should be lucky to have gotten that much.
The Bruins managed to hold off a Flyers comeback for a 3-2 win in the shootout, and more importantly, a much needed two points in the Eastern Conference standings.
Outplayed for much of the game, Philadelphia did manage to get a couple goals past Boston goalie Tim Thomas in the second and third periods but other than that, they were out-muscled by Boston's pressure for much of the game's 60 minutes.
For starters, luck wasn't on the Flyers side early, especially for goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
Making Ilya Bryzgalov the story for every game has become tiresome to the fans, the front office and Bryzgalov himself.
But when he does something as special as he's done the past couple of weeks, it's hard to just take all the focus away from the Russian netminder, nicknamed the $51 Million Man.
The Flyers have been winning, and they have been playing a brand of hockey many expected them to play down the stretch. Scoring, defense and goaltending - those are the three things that win championships.
So why does the focus all come back to Bryzgalov? Because of the franchise shutout streak that he just broke that stood tall for 13 years midway through the second period.