Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, his confidence shattered after allowing four goals on the 10 shots he faced in a relief role Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center, said he was sorry.
"I have zero confidence in myself right now. I'm terrible. I want to apologize to the fans and my teammates. I don't know what's going on. I have no answer for you guys. I thought the last game in Montreal was the worst, but today was worse."
Winnipeg 9, Flyers 8.
Jets captain Andrew Ladd scored with 1 minute, 6 seconds left, giving Winnipeg a had-to-see-it-to-believe-it win over the Flyers, who lost for the fourth time in their last five games. In those four defeats, they have allowed 23 goals.
Ladd's goal wiped out a Flyers comeback that turned a 6-2 deficit into a brief, 7-6 lead. Bryzgalov surrendered three goals in the third period.
"I'm lost in the woods now," Bryzgalov said.
In fairness to Bryzgalov, who replaced Sergei Bobrovsky (five goals allowed on 15 shots) with 15:21 left in the second period, the defense was awful. For most of the game, Winnipeg was allowed to skate virtually untouched out front. Minus injured captain Chris Pronger, the Flyers played with little physicality, and the Jets worked a great cycle to set up Ladd's game-winner.
"It doesn't matter. They're trying to play hard. Everybody. The bottom line, I'm the goalie. I'm the guy who has to stop the puck," Bryzgalov said. "I couldn't stop the simple shot. That's probably why players make more mistakes, because they have no confidence in their goalie . . . because the goalie was bad. Yeah, I'm the reason why we lose the game."
Peter Laviolette defended Bryzgalov.
"There's a lot of confidence in him and what he's done in the past," he said.
It was the most goals allowed by the Flyers at home since Oct. 23, 1993, when they played the first version of the Jets, who won that game at the Spectrum, 9-6.
"It's just, I can't stop the puck," said Bryzgalov, who has a 5.05 goals-against average and .802 save percentage in his last four appearances. "It's very simple. You can't ask more from the forwards. They scored eight goals, and we're still losing."
The combined 17 goals equaled a Flyers record, done three other times. It was the most goals scored in an NHL game since the San Jose Sharks defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 10-8, on Jan. 13, 1996.
"I've never seen anything like that," defenseman Kimmo Timonen (four assists) said of the roller-coaster ride of a game. "We have a lot of work to do."
On a night when defense was a rumor and the teams traded chances like a group of teenagers playing a makeshift game on a pond, the Flyers scored three goals (Danny Briere, Matt Read, James van Riemsdyk) in the first 3:02 of the third period to pull ahead, 7-6.
After being humiliated a day earlier by a struggling Montreal team that was off to its worst start in 70 years, the Flyers were thoroughly embarrassed by the Jets in the first 30 minutes.
They trailed by 5-1 and 6-2 against a team that had yet to win on the road in four games this season.
Boos echoed around the arena.
And then . . .
Remarkably, the Flyers scored the next five goals - two by Briere (four points) - to take a 7-6 lead.
Even more remarkably, they still lost - on a night they outshot the Jets, 48-25.
Winnipeg had scored a total of 18 goals in its previous eight games this season.
Van Riemsdyk (two goals) had tied it at 8 with 3:39 left.
Earlier, van Riemsdyk tapped home a Briere pass to put the Flyers ahead, 7-6, but the Jets' Alexander Burmistrov scored the equalizer 28 seconds later when he was left alone in front with 16:30 remaining.
About a minute later, defenseman Mark Stuart scored his first goal of the season, knocking a shot past Bryzgalov with 15:29 to go. That gave the Jets an 8-7 lead.
The 17 goals scored in the Flyers' 9-8 loss to the Winnipeg Jets Thursday tied a Flyers record for total goals scored in a single game. It was the fourth time it's been done, but the first 17-goal game the Flyers have lost. Here are the three other times it's been done:
Feb. 27, 1982: Flyers 9, Calgary Flames 8
March 22, 1984: Flyers 13, Pittsburgh Penguins 4
Feb. 23, 1988: Flyers 11, Detroit Red Wings 6EndText