Posted March 24, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Frederic St. Denis
Danny Briere scored a pair of goals, Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 saves and the Philadelphia Flyers clinched a playoff berth with a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Three of Philadelphia's four goals came on the power play, upping the Flyers' league-leading total to 61.
Briere's second goal put the Flyers up 3-1 with 2:20 left in the second period. Jaromir Jagr took a long outlet pass from Bryzgalov at the Flyers' blue line and flicked it on to Briere, who got one-on-one with Canadiens goalie Peter Budaj and roofed a forehand shot from in close.
Bryzgalov improved his record this month to 10-1-1 while making several excellent saves from close range. The most impressive came in the first period when he stopped Aaron Palushaj and Frederic St-Denis on shots from right in front of the goal. He also denied Erik Cole on a breakaway with a glove save.
Briere put the Flyers ahead 2-1 with a power-play goal 7:57 into the second period after deflecting Matt Carle's wrist shot from the point past Budaj.
Briere had just one goal in his last 29 games entering Saturday and that was an empty-netter. Before that, the last time he scored was Jan. 8 against Ottawa when Briere had a hat trick.
Montreal had tied it 4 minutes earlier on Tomas Plekanec's breakaway tally. Plekanec got in on Bryzgalov and scored on a pretty backhand move, just sneaking the puck past the sprawling Bryzgalov.
The Flyers had taken a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when Kimmo Timonen rocketed a slap shot from the blue line that zoomed past Budaj into the upper left corner of the goal.
Matt Read added a goal with 1:53 left in the game for the Flyers on a one-timer from just in front of the crease.
Notes: Flyers captain Chris Pronger received a standing ovation when he was introduced to the crowd late in the first period. Pronger is out for the season due to a concussion. He played in 13 games, with a goal and 11 assists, but has been sidelined since Nov. 19. ... Flyers defenseman Andreas Lilja, who was hit in the throat with a puck last Saturday against Boston, was a scratch. Lilja missed Sunday's game but returned to the lineup Tuesday and Thursday this week. ... Philadelphia outshot Montreal 33-24.
BEST OF MAXIM
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Danny Briere scored twice and rookie Matt Read added a goal and an
assist as Philadelphia topped Montreal 4-1 on Saturday to become the third Eastern
Conference team to clinch a playoff spot.
Kimmo Timonen also tallied, fellow defenseman Matt Carle recorded two
assists and Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 saves for the Flyers, who improved
to 3-1-0 on their five-game homestand.
Courtesy of AP/Yahoo Sports
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