For much of the season, the shootout has not been very friendly to the Flyers, especially goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
But for one night, the planets aligned for Bryzgalov and the Flyers.
A big blocker stop, a pad stack, and left-handed larceny all came out of Bryzgalov's bag of tricks as he won his first shoot out of the season. It was Matt Read's snipe in round five that capped off the Flyers 5-4 come-from-behind win.
The first half of the game resembled the Flyers heartless outing on Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers; a game in which they dropped 2-0 against one of the weakest teams in the Western Conference.
For over a period and a half of play, the Flyers lacked any type of inspiration. Poor penalty killing, weak play from Bryzgalov and a bad turnover on the power play led to a quick 3-0 lead for the Flames.
The Flyers have showcased many things this season. Their decision to trade Jeff Carter and Mike Richards turned into an excellent move, the ability to rally around injuries and that an inconsistent presence at defense can cripple even the most offensive-minded teams.
But the one thing that can be said about this season for the Flyers, and most surprisingly, is the the fresh crop of rookies and prospects they boasted in the minors.
No other team in the NHL, this year and even recently, has kept themselves in the top four of their conference while having at least five rookies lacing up their skates on a nightly basis.
Players like Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Matt Read and Zac Rinaldo have garnered most of the attention from the national and local media this season. That’s because the first three are high-profile prospects, bound to be top-six forwards by next season while Rinaldo has established himself as an important enforcer.
So that’s why it’s easy for Erik Gustafsson to fall under the radar to Flyers fans. But within the organization, that #26 jersey has been well on their radar since last season.