Philadelphia, PA (WGR 550) -- How the Sabres got out of the first 20 minutes only down 2-1 is a major miracle.
Every player out there with the exception of the Kevin Porter line was not ready to play.
It started right away as Philadelphia’s first rush up ice produced a wide open Jakub Voracek with Ryan Miller making a big save.
Immediately following that, Christian Ehrhoff leaves Brayden Schenn alone right next to Miller for two more big saves.
Heac coach Ron Rolston admitted, "we gotta be ready to go...we didn't have enough urgency and desparation off the start tonight. We, we kind of got a little of it back as the game went on. It's been strange because when I first got here second periods were the real problem and now we've shifted a little bit to the first."
Buffalo got its only rush of the first 10 minutes and Jason Pominville tries to pass to a covered man while an open Thomas Vanek was open to the net. Ilya Bryzgalov entered the game with a .899 save percentage and it took the Sabres 11:37 to get their first shot and 11:43 their first goal. Kevin Porter and Brian Flynn continue to play well and Flynn converted a Porter rebound.
Jochen Hecht told me afterward that the Flyers "skated hard, they forechecked hard and we didn't have an answer for it."
Robyn Regehr took a careless high sticking penalty which lead to Simon Gagne getting behind Ehrhoff who was just napping for a goal. Kimmo Timonen has killed the Sabres with that long pass, yet Ehrhoff didn’t expect it.
Then on the PP, Steve Ott tried a blind backhand pass inside the blue that sent Ruslan Fedotenko away. He passed to Max Talbot for a shorthanded layup.
The second period was better, but Philadelphia still had the better of the play.
It only took 17 seconds on the power play for two players including the captain to waive their sticks at an attacking Claude Giroux and he fired home another one Miller should’ve stopped.
Buffalo has given the Flyers five power plays giving up two goals.
The Porter line again kept applying offensive pressure and got more good opportunities.
Cody Hodgson gobbled up one of the many Bryzgalov rebounds on a shot from Ehrhoff, but he was stopped while being wide open.
Byrzgalov has been leaving rebounds all over the place, yet the only times the Sabres took advantage was on that play and the Flynn goal.
So far this season Carolina, Washington, Ottawa, New Jersey, Florida and Winnipeg have broken long losing streaks against the Sabres and the Flyers are well on their way to doing the same.
For awhile the Sabres were without Tyler Ennis with an upper body injury on a hit from behind by Wayne Simmonds that wasn’t penalized and John Scott and Mike Weber who got 10 minutes misconducts.
Ehrhoff has played 18:45 after two periods because of it.
The Sabres were better at the start of the third and got a shorthanded goal. Steve Ott led a 2-on-1 and found a open Jochen Hecht who fired his 2nd under Bryzgalov.
On the same kill, Hodgson came down with a big blast that got through Bryzgalov, but the Flyers dug it out before it crossed the line.
Whether you win or lose this game, you just can't come out with the effort this team did with your season on the line. It just shows how flawed this team really is.