The Washington Times - March 23, 2012, 02:40AM

PHILADELPHIA | Jaromir Jagr laughed. Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has played some stellar hockey of late, perhaps among the best in the league.

Well if you don’t count the first shots, for sure,” Jagr said.

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Sure, Bryzgalov gave up a goal to Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin on the first shot Thursday night, but he rebounded to make 30 straight saves and then three more in the shootout to pick up another victory.

He’s now 9-1-1 with a 1.27 goals-against average and .956 save percentage in the month of March.

He’s in the zone right now,” Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds said. “We can rely on him. We’re completely confident in him. Anytime there’s a lapse, he makes a huge save, so it’s really good for us.”

Bryzgalov doesn’t want to talk about himself anymore, shushing any questions about his game. But the Caps were willing to give him plenty of credit for over 64 minutes of shutout hockey.

Bryzgalov played a good game after he settled in after that early goal, and I thought we were still getting chances,” right wing Troy Brouwer said. “I think we limited their chances quite a bit, but he played well throughout the rest of the game.”

Jagr joked that the Flyers should have started Sergei Bobrovsky for the first shot and then replaced him with Bryzgalov. Coach Peter Laviolette wouldn’t even take that as a joke.

But I’ve learned that if I comment on something, there’s an article about it, so I’m just going to keep my mouth shut from now on,” he said.

Bryzgalov has lived by that notion lately, not wanting to address his own success. It has worked so far, so there’s likely no reason he’ll change now.