November 23 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Maybe Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was being honest when he said he started backup goalie Brian Boucher on Monday night against Montreal because he was coming off a strong performance.
Or maybe the Flyers, who will have a goalie logjam when Michael Leighton returns from an injury, were showcasing Boucher for a possible trade.
Whatever the reason for his start, Boucher overcame a shaky first period – and so did the Flyers, who rallied past the Canadiens, 3-2, before an animated sellout crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.
Second-year winger James van Riemsdyk ended six weeks of frustration by scoring his first goal of the season and snapping a 2-2 tie with 12 minutes, 18 seconds left in the game.
Taking a feed from defenseman Braydon Coburn, van Riemsdyk scored from the right circle, then punched the air triumphantly before exchanging fist bumps with his teammates on the bench.
“It’s been a while, and sometimes you forget how great it feels to score,” said a relieved van Riemsdyk, who has been playing on Mike Richards’ line recently. “I just have to keep this roll going.”
Van Riemsdyk, 21, hadn’t scored in his first 17 games this season.
“It’s been a tough go for him here . . . but he’s been working hard, and he’s a good kid,” Boucher said after the Flyers overcame a 2-0 deficit and avenged last Tuesday’s 3-0 loss in Montreal. “We all believe in him, and it’s a matter of him getting his confidence back. There’s a reason he was the second overall pick” in 2007.
The Flyers took the NHL lead with 30 points. Washington also has 30, but the Flyers have the tiebreaker over the Caps. This is the first time the Flyers are No. 1 overall in the league – after at least 20 games – since Jan. 14, 2006.
The Flyers had tied the score at 2 on Claude Giroux’s team-high 12th goal. The shifty center, who won 71 percent of his face-offs Monday, took a pass from Darroll Powe and knocked a short shot past Carey Price (42 saves) 1:48 into the third period.”
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