Lots of funny sound bites came out of the Flyers’ locker room Thursday night after their 6-3 win over the visiting New York Islanders.
The best came from ageless right winger Jaromir Jagr, who had a goal and an assist and moved into sole possession of eighth place on the NHL’s all-time points list.
Aware that goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has had a difficult time early in games, Jagr had a playful suggestion on how coach Peter Laviolette can use Bryz and backup Sergei Bobrovsky.
“I have an idea: Let's put Bob in for the first shot, then Bryz the rest of game,” said Jagr, tongue firmly planted in cheek.
Actually, Bryzgalov made a nice save on the Isles’ first shot, then allowed a goal on their second shot, a rebound by Josh Bailey. Bryzgalov could not be faulted. Defensemen Nick Grossman and Andrej Meszaros were caught out of position, giving Bailey a clear lane to the goal, and he deposited his own rebound. (In each of the two previous games, Bryzgalov had surrendered a goal on the first shot.)
Bryzgalov made several difficult stops in the first period Thursday, giving the Flyers a chance to rally.
The Flyers regrouped after Laviolette called a timeout 3:45 into the game.
Jagr joked that Laviolette was calm and spoke in a soft tone. In a delicate voice, a smiling Jagr said Laviolette told the team: “Please, guys, play our way.”
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Jagr, 40, now has 1,643 points, two more than Joe Sakic. Next on the list, at No. 7, is Mario Lemieux, who had 1,723 points.
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Scott Hartnell, one of Jagr's linemates, was also in comic form as he talked about winger James van Riemsdyk leaving the game with a first-period injury.
“JVR’s first blocked shot and he gets a broken foot,” Hartnell deadpanned.
Hartnell turned serious.
“It’s frustrating, obviously,” Hartnell said. “He was finally getting his timing back from his concussion, and I’m sure he’ll be out four to six weeks, I’m guessing…..But the blessing in disguise is he’ll be well-rested and ready to go come playoff time.”
The extent of JVR’s injury will not be known until Friday, but he is expected to miss at least a month. He was injured blocking a shot fired by Milan Jurcina.
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Center Claude Giroux had three assists and now has a career-best 52 on the season. He became the fourth player in franchise history with back-to back seasons of at least 50 assists. The others: Bobby Clarke, Brian Propp and Mark Recchi.
Yes, pretty good company.
By the way, Giroux has 75 points, one away from equaling his career best. With 19 games left, he has an outside shot at 100 points.
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Hartnell scored his 31st goal and became the third Flyer this season to eclipse his career high, joining Wayne Simmonds and Max Talbot.
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The Flyers were given off on Friday; they will practice Saturday at 11 a.m. in Voorhees, preparing for Sunday night’s game in Washington.
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Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.