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Philadelphia beats Montreal, secures playoff spot

Ilya Bryzgalov

It might have been a foregone conclusion before, but now it’s a fact: the Philadelphia Flyers will participate in the 2012 playoffs. The Flyers picked up another two points on Saturday with a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

Although he was the subject of criticism and the center of controversies earlier in the season, Ilya Bryzgalov has been a key component of the Flyers’ recent success. Bryzgalov hasn’t surrendered more than two goals in any of his last 11 starts. If he can carry his hot streak into the playoffs, then the Flyers will be a formable team going forward.

Philadelphia is unlikely to make up the five point gap between them and the Atlantic Division leading New York Rangers in the last seven games of the season. However, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the fourth seed are certainly within their reach. Pittsburgh suffered a rare setback on Saturday in a 8-4 loss to Ottawa, which allowed the Flyers to pull within two points of their division rival.

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are scheduled to play each other in two critical matches in the final two weeks of the season.

You can check out highlights of the Flyers’ victory below.