Special teams were the difference in the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday night.
The Flyers were all over Buffalo in the opening minutes of the game. As a result, Philadelphia gained an early power play and used that to take a 1-0 lead. Simon Gagne was able to beat the Sabres' defense, and slide a wrist shot between the pads of Ryan Miller for the goal. The score came with Robyn Regher in the box for high sticking. The lead was increased to two thanks to a short handed goal. Max Talbot out home the chance after Steve Ott turned the puck over in the offensive zone. At the time of the goal, shots in the period were 9-0.
It took nearly twelve minutes, but a pair of shots by the blue and gold resulted in their first goal of the contest. Brian Flynn's second goal in as many games made the score 2-1, Philadelphia in the opening stanza. The game took an edgier tone thanks to a big hit by Wayne Simmonds late in the frame. Simmonds hit Tyler Ennis from behind along the boards, drawing the ire of Mike Weber. John Scott was given a ten-minute misconduct later in the period while jostling with Zac Rinaldo before a faceoff. Ennis did not return to the game with an upper body injury.
Claude Giroux wasted no time in giving the home team another two-goal lead. The forward's power play goal just seventeen seconds into the middle frame upped the Flyers' lead to 3-1. Jochen Hecht was in the penalty box for a high sticking minor.
Hecht brought the blue and gold back to within a goal with a short handed tally early in the third period. Steve Ott feathered a pass across the ice to Hecht, who beat Ilya Bryzgalov with the shot, 3-2 Flyers. However, that would be it for the scoring, and the blue and gold fell one goal short.
Next up for the Sabres is a seven o'clock meeting with the New York Rangers at First Niagara Center on Tuesday night. Catch all of the action on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pregame starts at 6 p.m.
BUF: 11:43 - Brian Flynn (2) (Kevin Porter, Andrej Sekera).
PHI: 4:31 - Simon Gagne (2) PPG (Kimmo Timonen, Ilya Bryzgalov). 8:47 - Max Talbot (2) SHG (unassisted).
PHI: 0:17 - Claude Giroux (8) PPG (Kimmo Timonen).
BUF: 4:32 - Jochen Hecht (2) SHG (Steve Ott).
Shots On Goal
BUF - 4, PHI - 12
BUF - 10 (14), PHI - 10 (22)
BUF - 5 (19), PHI - 6 (28)