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Islanders end Bryzgalov’s streak, but Flyers hold on 3-2

Ilya Bryzgalov, Wojtek Wolski

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (30), of Russia, dives to block a shot as Florida Panthers’ Wojtek Wolski (8), of Poland, skates in during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, March 8, 2012, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 5-0. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)


Michael Grabner ended any thought of Ilya Bryzgalov setting a new modern NHL record by scoring a 3-1 goal, capping Breezy’s franchise-record streak at 249 minutes and 43 seconds.

After playing the fun-killers, the New York Islanders nearly rallied from a 3-0 deficit to take a point or two away from the Philadelphia Flyers. Grabner’s goal came 13:30 into the third period and John Tavares made it 3-2 just 35 seconds after that, but the Flyers managed to hold on to give them seven wins in their last eight games.

Chasing Pens and Rangers?

The Flyers find themselves in fifth place in the East and third in the Atlantic thanks to great play by the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers. Pittsburgh just wrapped up a 5-2 win against the Blueshirts in Sidney Crosby’s return, making the Atlantic race look like this:

(1) Rangers: 95 points with 12 games left, 41 regulation/OT wins
(4) Penguins: 91 points with 13 games left, 34 regulation/OT wins
(5) Flyers: 89 points with 12 games left, 38 regulation/OT wins

It seems unlikely that Philly can make up that difference, but it’s far from impossible. They have three games remaining against the Penguins and one left versus the Rangers, so there’s the chance to make up ground if they stay hot - especially if New York stumbles down the gate.

Either way, Bryzgalov and the Flyers are red-hot right now. In fact, you could argue that avoiding Philly in the first round is almost as appealing as winning the division for the Rangers and Penguins.