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Flyers stun Sabres 4-3

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550)  -- Welcome once again into the Ted Darling Memorial Press Box, high atop ice level at First NIagara Center. The Buffalo Sabres return home riding high after a shootout win on the road Sunday, and host the Philadelphia Flyers tonight.

The big news over the weekend was the assignment of Mikhail Grigorenko back to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and the day-long drama that ensued. The second-year forward is back in Juniors, and the drama is over. For more about the decision, including the comments of Pat LaFontaine, click here. On the ice, Jhonas Enroth is expected in goal for the blue and gold.

Be sure to comment throughout the game in the thread below, while I add my two cents in between the scoring plays. Also, feel free to give myself and Brian Koziol a follow on Twitter for more: @PatWGR and @BrianWGR.

First Period

16:41 - Mark Pysyk is headed to the penalty box for the first minor of the night. We will see if the Sabres' PK can withstand Philly's attack for the next two minutes.

15:41 - The first real good chance of the night came on the tip play for the Flyers. Fortunately for Buffalo, Scott Hartnell's tip went right into the chest of Jhonas Enroth for a whistle.

13:01 - SABRES GOAL. Buffalo may not have had many chances thus far, but Cody Hodgson uses a nifty move to beat Steve Mason with the second shot of the game and gives the home team the lead. Nice moves by Hodgson. 1-0 BUF.

8:00 - Enroth has his own save of the year candidate with a sliding save of a Claude Giroux back hand attempt towards the net. The goalie's sprawling save is nearly as good as Ryan Miller's this past Sunday.

5:38 - The Flyers have been the better team since Buffalo's goal less than ten minutes ago. Enroth has had to make a pair of quality saves, and now Philly is heading to the power play for the second time in the game.

End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: 6:59 - Cody Hodgson (9) (Steve Ott, Matt D'Agostini)
PHI: none

Penalty Summary

BUF: 3:19 - Mark Pysyk (2 min., tripping). 14:22 - Alex Sulzer (2 min., cross checking)
PHI: 8:28 - Andrej Meszaros (2 min., hooking)

Shots on Goal

BUF - 5, PHI - 6

Second Period

19:21 - Zenon Konopka makes his presence known by taking a holding penalty. Not a good way to start the middle stanza for the blue and gold.

18:20 - FLYERS GOAL. Jakub Voracek was sitting all by himself at the side of the Buffalo not, and the forward made no doubt about the one-time pass across the ice. The game is tied thanks to the power play tally that was set up by Wayne Simmonds. 1-1 tie.

12:38 - Zemgus Gigrensons drove the Flyers net and draws a power play for Buffalo. The Sabres have been starved for offense ever since Hodgson scored. This could be the boost the team needs.

9:03 - No signs of life on the Sabres power play. I do not think they had even one good chance on goal. Philly leads in shots 7-3.

2:13 - Matt Moulson has the best chance of the period for Buffalo, but cannot bury the point blank opportunity. The Sabres have been better the second half of this period. That is not saying much, but it is true.

End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: none
PHI: 1:40 - Jakub Voracek (13) PPG (Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell)

Penalty Summary

BUF: 0:39 - Zenon Konopka (2 min., holding). 11:47 - Brayden McNabb (2 min., roughing)
PHI: 3:12 - Jay Rosehill (2 min., interference). 7:02 - Nicklas Grossman (2 min., interference). 14:01 - Adam Hall (2 min., hooking)

Shots on Goal

BUF - 7 (12), PHI - 12 (18)

Third Period

13:26 - SABRES GOAL. The Captain helps set up another goal for the Sabres, as Steve Ott throws the puck at the net and Matt D'Agostini hurls himself at the net and tips the puck home. That is the best shift for Buffalo in a while, and it gives the team their second lead of the night. 2-1 BUF

11:29 - Ott is definitely leading by example tonight, and really all season long. When the Sabres have needed a hard working shift, it is usually Ott's line that delivers. He has served the team well as captain this year without a doubt.

6:32 - FLYERS GOAL. Just as I was about to write that Philly is creating better chances, Brayden Schenn makes the most of a favorable bounce and this game is tied. 2-2 tie.

4:39 - The last thing the Sabres needed here was a penalty kill situation, but Konopka's goaltender interference minor puts Buffalo behind the eight ball.

4:07 - FLYERS GOAL. Philly scores for the second time with Konopka in the box. This time Scott Hartnell is able to bury a chance from one knee. 3-2 PHI.

3:13 - SABRES GOAL. Tyler Ennis answers right back for Buffalo, and the game is tied. The forward simply threw the puck at the net and Steve Mason had it go under his pads. That is one the goalie will want back. 3-3 tie.

:14.8 - FLYERS GOAL. The hometown fans had visions of overtime, but Vincent Lecavalier dashes that as he scores with just seconds to go in the game and effectively end this one. 4-3 PHI.

End of Game

Philadelphia 4, Buffalo 3

Goal Summary

BUF: 6:27 - Matt D'Agostini (2) (Steve Ott, Cody Hodgson). 16:47 - Tyler Ennis (10) (Matt Moulson, Christian Ehrhoff)
PHI: 13:28 - Brayden Schenn (12) (Scott Hartnell, Andrej Meszaros). 15:53 - Scott Hartnell (11) PPG (Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux). 19:45 - Vincent Lecavalier (10) (Matt Read, Sean Couturier)

Penalty Summary

BUF: 2:31 - Brian Flynn (2 min., hooking). 15:06 - Zenon Konopka (2 min., goaltender interference)
PHI: none

Shots on Goal

BUF - 7 (19), PHI - 15 (33)

Final Thoughts

The Sabres get three goals in front on Jhonas Enroth, but again they fail him in the defensive zone and it all goes for nothing. Zenon Konopka is probably in Ted Nolan's doghouse for committing two penalties that led to goals against. There have been many nights under Nolan where I think the team outplayed their opponent and deserved the win, but tonight was definitely not one of those. There were more moments of sloppy play and lethargic play than there was good, and everyone but the netminder deserved the fate that was handed to them. However, there is no time for this team to sulk, they head right to Toronto for a meeting with the Maple Leafs tomorrow night. The puck drops just after 7:30 on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550, with the pregame show starting at 6:30. 

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People : Brian KoziolJhonas EnrothMikhail GrigorenkoPat LaFontaine