EDMONTON -- Ilya Bryzgalov did his best to pull one out against his former team, but fell short in the Philadelphia Flyers' 4-3 shootout victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night at Rexall Place.
Bryzgalov made 35 saves and was the main reason the Oilers were able to earn a point in the loss.
Michael Raffl scored the shootout winner for the Flyers, who got their other goal in the tiebreaker from Claude Giroux. Bryzgalov stopped Vincent Lecavalier on Philadelphia's first attempt.
"[Bryzgalov] played unreal. I'm sure he wanted to play well," Oilers left wing Taylor Hall said. "It's not an easy circumstance to play a team that you used to play against and you used to wear their jersey. I couldn't imagine coming in and playing like that. We're proud of him. We're happy to have him."
The Flyers bought out Bryzgalov in the offseason, two seasons into a nine-year, $51 million contract.
Bryzgalov kept the Oilers in the contest, particularly in the second period when the Flyers outshot Edmonton 14-3 while battling back from a two-goal deficit.
Hall opened the scoring on the first shift of the game, 32 seconds in, intercepting a Braydon Coburn pass in front of the Flyers net and beating goalie Steve Mason from in tight. Mason made 13 saves in the game and two in the shootout to record the victory.
Nugent-Hopkins increased the lead at 4:02, beating defenseman Mark Streit on the rush and firing a shot through Mason.
"I knew they were not going to quit," Bryzgalov said. "I knew what was coming. I knew they were going to play hard and they were going to get lots of pucks to the net. That's the style they play, aggressive. Playing back-to-back nights after three days off, it's not easy. I think we battled through and tried our best. It's great to get the point."
The Oilers were coming off a 2-0 win against the Calgary Flames on Friday.
After taking a two-goal lead Saturday, they were hemmed in their own zone for the majority of the second period.
Wayne Simmonds scored his first of two power-play goals at 3:37, tipping a Giroux point shot past Bryzgalov.
Simmonds tied the game with another power-play goal at 12:13, finishing off an exceptional cross-ice pass from Jakub Voracek.
The Flyers right wing had the puck bounce to him at the faceoff circle and spotted Simmonds alone at the side of the net for an easy tap-in.
"We've had [Bryzgalov] the last two years, and I thought he played a really good game," Simmonds said. "We just had to keep crashing the net, and we had a couple of nice goals in that shootout. It was nice to get the two points."
Saturday was Simmonds' third consecutive two-goal game, making him the first Philadelphia player to achieve that feat since Reggie Leach in 1981.
"Obviously, it has been a good stretch for me," Simmonds said. "It's been even better that the team has been starting to win and piling up the two points most nights. It feels good. I've just been getting the bounces."
In the third, David Perron gave the Oilers the lead on the power play at 11:52, banking a centering pass in off Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann. It was Perron's 100th NHL goal.
Scott Hartnell tied the game on the power play at 14:28, tipping a Kimmo Timonen point shot past Bryzgalov.
"It's a really good win," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "I felt really good about our team, even after their second goal went in, just the way they acted on the bench. They were confident they could come back and didn't get down. That's what it is all about. They knew they were going to get their opportunities, and it ended up working out tonight."
Perron had a great chance to put the Oilers back in front on a breakaway with a little more than two minutes left in the third, but he was stopped by Mason, who got a piece of a backhand shot and redirected it off the goal post.
Both teams were tentative in overtime, with neither generating a clear-cut opportunity to win the contest.
"I thought we came out well. I thought Philadelphia was sluggish and they got better as the game went on," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "We've had our challenges in back-to-back games, and I felt we were basically holding on by a thread in the second period.
"I thought [Bryzgalov] held us in the game, especially in the second when we were not a very good team."
Saturday was the first of a six-game road trip for the Flyers. They travel to face the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.
The Oilers will take on the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday in the first of a three-game road trip.
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