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Flyers blank Maple Leafs 1-0

The Associated Press
Flyers blank Maple Leafs 1-0

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Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, left, keeps his eye on a loose puck as Brandon Manning …

TORONTO (AP) Claude Giroux's move in the shootout was so good Ilya Bryzgalov was glad he was on his team.

Giroux scored the only goal in the shootout and Bryzgalov made 29 saves for his third shutout in the past four games, lifting the Philadelphia Flyers to a 1-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Giroux borrowed Pavel Datsyuk's signature move to beat Jonas Gustavsson in the tiebreaker. He made a gorgeous deke before lifting the puck into the top of the net.

''It's not fair,'' Bryzgalov said. ''He did it a couple times (in practice), I saw that. But he cannot do that in a game. It's unreal.''

Added teammate Scott Hartnell: ''That was dirty.''

Bryzgalov made his 11th straight start in goal for Philadelphia. His biggest save came on a Phil Kessel breakaway in overtime. He also denied the Leafs forward in the shootout to preserve the victory.

''We knew it was just a matter of time before he stepped up his game and played like (the guy) we signed for nine years and big money,'' Hartnell said. ''He's a big money player and it's good for him to get going right now. And hopefully that continues in the playoffs.''

Gustavsson made 27 saves for his fourth shutout of the season for the Maple Leafs, who have dropped seven straight home games.

''It felt like we took one step in the right direction tonight,'' he said.

Toronto is six points back of the eighth-place Capitals in the Eastern Conference heading into Sunday's game at Washington. Defenseman Mike Komisarek said it's the biggest game of the year.

In a tight-checking game, the Maple Leafs had only 15 shots on goal through the first two periods, but Bryzgalov had to be sharp on a couple of plays. Bryzgalov briefly looked behind him on an early Clarke MacArthur chance and managed to get his glove on a hard Kessel wrist shot later in the period.

Gustavsson was steady at the other end as well. He stopped Max Talbot on an excellent short-handed chance in the second period.

Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, who took over when Ron Wilson was fired March 2, never reveals who will start in goal, but he sounded as if he might continue with Gustavsson on Sunday.

''We said that we were going to go with the goalie that gives us the best chance to win and he pitched a shutout,'' Carlyle said. ''We can't ignore the fact that he was pretty outstanding for us in the hockey game.''

Toronto outshot the Flyers 10-6 in the third period, but couldn't solve Bryzgalov. MacArthur covered his face in frustration after missing a wide open net while linemate Nikolai Kulemin continued his frustrating season by losing the handle on the puck from in close.

''The frustrating part for us is we had a couple posts, we had a couple empty nets we missed,'' Carlyle said. ''That's the difference in the hockey game.''

NOTES: Colby Armstrong, Mike Brown and Cody Franson sat out for Toronto ... The Flyers are nursing a number of injuries: Pavel Kubina, Andrej Meszaros, Kimmo Timonen and Jakub Voracek all missed the game ... Jaromir Jagr played his first game at Air Canada Centre since Dec. 29, 2007. ... The ''You Can Play'' public service announcement featuring Leafs GM Brian Burke and his son Patrick aired between periods and earned applause.

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