Backup goalie Brian Boucher gets my vote as the Flyers' best player on their 2-3 road trip, which ended with their 2-1 win over the host New York Islanders Wednesday.
In three appearances during the trip, Boucher had a 1.61 goals-against average.
Boucher made 27 saves in the first two periods Wednesday and enabled the Flyers to be locked in a 1-1 tie. The Flyers allowed just one shot as they controlled the third period, winning it on a goal by Scott Hartnell with 5:27 left.
"Boosh was terrific and gave us a chance to recover," coach John Stevens said.
"I saw the game well," Boucher said. "There weren't many shots I didn't see."
In the first game of the trip, Boucher made 37 saves and was the difference as the Flyers defeated Los Angeles, 3-2. He relieved Ray Emery midway through the game in Colorado and surrendered just one goal, giving the Flyers a chance.
When Boucher entered the Colorado game, the Flyers faced a 4-2 deficit; he was unfairly charged with the loss because of an awful NHL rule that needs to be changed. Since he allowed what proved to be the game-winner, Boucher was charged with the loss _ even though he yielded three fewer goals than Emery.
Captain Mike Richards also scored for the Flyers Wednesday, breaking a five-game drought.
"The guys found the energy and it's a big two points we'll take home with us," Stevens said.
Boucher suffered a groin injury in training camp and missed the first few games. After a shaky start, he has recovered and has resembled the goalie who was a superb understudy in San Jose last season.
Notes. It marked the first time since 2003 that the Flyers allowed just one shot in the third period _ a 4-1 win over the Penguins ..... The Flyers were guilty of seven penalties _ four more than the Isles....Former Flyer Marty Biron was the hard-luck loser....The Flyers host Buffalo Friday at 1 p.m; there are a little over 1,700 tickets left for the annual Black Friday matinee.
* * * * * * * * *
Despite his stellar play on the trip, Boucher will be back in a resrve role Friday against Buffalo. During Thursday's practice in Voorhees, Stevens said Emery (2.57 GAA, .910 save percentage) will start Friday.