When public-address announcer Lou Nolan proclaimed that the Flyers and Washington Capitals were going into a shootout Thursday night, fans at the Wells Fargo Center booed.
But if they had a premonition, it was an incorrect one.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped three of four shots in the dreaded shootout, and Wayne Simmonds netted the game-winner as the Flyers outlasted the Capitals, 2-1.
In shootouts, the Flyers are now 4-6 and Bryzgalov is 3-5.
After an early miscue that enabled Washington to score on its first shot, Bryzgalov was superb. Again. He stopped the last 30 shots.
It marked the third time in the last four games that the Flyers had gone past regulation, and they remained four points behind fourth-place Pittsburgh in the East.
With the game tied at 1-all, Bryzgalov stopped Marcus Johansson on a penalty shot with 7 minutes, 2 seconds left in the second period.
Johansson started to lose the puck as he got close to Bryzgalov, and as the goalie reached out to poke it away, the center tripped over the stick and fell to the ice. The puck went harmlessly into the corner.
Johansson, who later absorbed a punishing open-ice hit from Matt Read, had been pulled down on a breakaway by Matt Carle, causing the penalty shot.
About two minutes into the third period, the Flyers had their only power play, but were disorganized and had no shots. That made them 2 for their last 20 with an extra skater or two.
The Flyers nearly snapped the 1-1 deadlock as Jakub Voracek raced in ahead of the pack and his left-circle shot slipped under goalie Braden Holtby's pads but went inches wide of the right post with 13:15 remaining in the third period. Holtby, 22, was making just his third appearance of the season for the Caps.
Calling the Flyers "slow starters" is like saying Rick Santorum is a little conservative.
In other words, it would be a major understatement.
The Flyers continued a head-scratching habit of falling behind early in the game. Bryzgalov poke-checked the puck right to the sizzling Alex Ovechkin (six goals in last five games), who scored from the slot after 26 seconds.
It marked the 15th time in the last 20 games opponents had scored first against the Flyers.
In the last 47 games, the Flyers have led just twice (twice!) during the first 10 minutes. They have trailed 20 times in the first 10 minutes of those games.
When you put those sobering stats together, it's pretty amazing that the Flyers took a 42-23-8 record into Thursday.
A little over six minutes into the second period, Claude Giroux scored the equalizer - and made the inexperienced Holtby look bad in the process.
Taking a long pass from Jaromir Jagr, Giroux sped past defenseman Dennis Wideman and, as Holtby came out of the net in a feeble attempt to poke the puck away, the little centerman cut to his left after a toe drag and then tapped a shot into the wide-open goal. It was Giroux's 27th goal and gave him 85 points this season.
Bryzgalov entered the night with a 1.28 goals-against average and .955 save percentage in 11 games this month, including a 1-0 win in Washington on March 4..