After a superb start, goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has faded, and the Flyers need him to rebound Wednesday against Washington at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers are 1-2 on the five-game homestand.
“If you check the standings, it could be bad pretty soon if we don’t put (together) some streaks and win a couple games in a row,” Bryzgalov said after watching a video session Tuesday at the Flyers’ practice facility in Voorhees.
Bryzgalov was grateful for a day off the ice. He has been a workhorse, leading NHL goaltenders in minutes played, and starting 19 of 21 games.
In the last four games, he has a 4.30 goals-against average and an .857 save percentage. Overall, he is 9-9-1 with a 2.79 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.
Bryzgalov, who has not received the best defensive support, said it’s important “to find the proper pace and proper game and play consistently. If you don’t, it’s tough to win.”
The Flyers will be trying to avenge a 3-2 loss Feb. 1 in Washington. 1. In that matchup, the Caps’ John Erskine elbowed Wayne Simmonds in the head and gave the right winger a concussion, causing him to miss three games.
Erskine was suspended for three games.
The Caps (7-10-1) are playing their second game in two nights; they are coming off Tuesday's 3-0 win over Carolina.
Gagne's return. Simon Gagne was not at Wednesday's morning skate, but he will be in the lineup Wednesday night, replacing the injured Tye McGinn.
Gagne was getting some sleep after taking the red-eye from Los Angeles.
Harry Zolnierczyk will go back in the lineup, and Mike Knuble will be scratched.
Here are the probable lines for Wednesday:
Gagne was given No. 12 by Zolnierczyk, who is now wearing No. 37.
Read skates. Matt Read skated and took a few shots for the first time since he tore a left rib-cage muscle a week ago in Pittsburgh, but he said he is in "a lot of pain" and that he is far from returning. He is expected to miss five more weeks.
In the game against Pittsburgh, Read was hit by Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz on consecutive shifts.
"I just show up every day, do my treatment, and when I get the green light to skate or do anything with the team, I take advantage of it," said Read said, who isn't expected to skate again for a few days.
Breakaways. The Flyers are 5-3-1 at home, while Washington is 2-5-1 on the road....Jake Voracek leads the Flyers in goals (eight), assists (16) and points (24)…..The 36th annual Flyers Wives Fight for Lives Carnival will be held Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are available at 1-800-298-4200, online at ComcastTIX.com, or at the WFC ticket office.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.