24 saves by Ilya Bryzgalov, a rejuvenated defensive effort and two assists by Jakub Voracek propelled the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
The Jets swarmed the Flyers early. Amongst a deafening chorus of "Il-ya" chants from the Winnipeg faithful, a bank off the end boards took an odd hop and Bryzgalov stretched out to make a great save on Bryan Little to keep the game scoreless early.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov makes a save in the 2nd period. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Trevor Hagan)
After what was looking to be a year without hockey, we found ourselves at the quarter-mark of the 2013 NHL season.
It's already been a fun-filled first three weeks of hockey. Perennial giants are struggling, some super stars are still in search of their scoring touch and even the Chicago Blackhawks have managed to play their first 11 games without a regulation loss.
12 games into the 48-game shortened season, the Flyers find themselves with a 5-6-1 record and 11 points, good for third place in the Atlantic Division.
At that point, they sit behind the first place Devils (7-1-3; 17 points) and second place Penguins (8-4-0; 16 points). It could be much worse, especially since the Flyers were at one point 2-6-0 to start the season.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov and Zac Rinaldo after the Flyers won, 4-3, in overtime on Saturday. Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
The Flyers kept shooting and shooting, but Jose Theodore seemed to have an answer for everything.
Theodore stopped 30 shots, including both of the Flyers' shootout attempts in the Panthers' 3-2 win in Philadelphia. The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Flyers, but they have earned a point in each of their last three games.
Theodore came up huge in the last two periods and overtime, stopping the last 19 shots he faced to preserve the come-back win.
(Picture: Jose Theodore stones Claude Giroux on the shootout. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Maybe there is something Peter Laviolette knew that no one else possibly could.
Two years without any goals? No problem. A reputation of being a goon that can’t do anything else? Players can change.
Brought to Philly in a controversial trade that no one agreed with? You have to work with the players you have.
Laviolette has been scrutinized every time he has worked Tom Sestito in the lineup. He is a player that Flyers fans usually love to hate. His reputation is terrible, and he has never given people a reason to think otherwise about him.
But with the injury to Wayne Simmonds, Sestito was placed into the lineup again. And as cliché as it is, it was a reason for him to prove himself.
(Pictured: Tom Sestito scores the first of two goals in the second period. AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)