Flyers Score 6 to Roll Past Eichel-less Sabres
There was no player in the NHL on a hotter streak than Jack Eichel, who entered the game on a 17-game points streak. For the Flyers to keep rolling at home, as they have all season, they would have to find a way to stop him and the Sabres. Or so they thought.
Eichel was ruled out with an upper-body injury after warmups. Without Eichel, the Sabres were hardly the same team.
The Flyers were the beneficiaries of three goals off Sabres and scored three more of their own, rolling to a 6-1 win over the Sabres on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center.
The Sabres came out with a lot of energy. Despite being tied in shots, 4-4, through eight minutes, they were getting the better entries and preventing the Flyers from getting much going.
The second half of the opening period was a different story. Following a successful penalty kill, the Flyers started to show more jump and turned it into a goal.
At 13:04, Mikhail Vorobyev threw a turnaround shot toward the net and it was deflected in by Conor Sheary. It was Vorobyev's first goal of the season.
Just over two minutes later, Kevin Hayes made a nice play behind the net to set up James van Riemsdyk in front for another goal. The Sabres challenged for goalie interference and the call on the ice stood, so the Sabres were penalized for delay of game.
On the ensuing power play, the Flyers cashed in again. It was Hayes with the setup again, delaying before feeding a pass to Matt Niskanen at the right circle. Niskanen had a wide open net and didn't miss, scoring his fifth goal of the season.
After 20 minutes, the Flyers had a 14-5 lead in shots.
The Flyers completely stymied the Sabres in the second period, holding them to just four shots on goal in the period. They also added to their lead in a big way.
It started at 8:20 when Ivan Provorov connected on a power-play goal to make it 4-0, his eighth goal of the season. Just 62 seconds later, Tyler Pitlick picked up his own rebound and the puck crossed the line off the stick of Marcus Johansson to make it 5-0.
Three minutes later, the Flyers were on the power play again and for the third time on the night, they cashed in. Off a quick entry, Travis Konecny fed van Riemsdyk. He put one on goal that hit off the skate of Rasmus Ristolainen and went in to make it 6-0.
Late in the period, the frustration boiled over for the Sabres. Rasmus Dahlin was called for a slashing penalty as Konecny cut in on goal with another scoring chance. In the corner, a scrum broke out after Dahlin threw a high cross-check at Konecny. Dahlin got four minutes of penalties and Konecny was called for roughing, giving the Flyers another power play.
The Flyers had a 25-9 edge in shots through two periods.
Most of the third period went by without much events. The Sabres got a power play midway through the period and did manage to get on the board and erase the shutout. A point shot by Dahlin was deflected by Victor Olofsson for his 15th goal of the season.
That was the only blemish on the night for Carter Hart, who finished with 16 saves on 17 shots. Carter Hutton made 23 saves on 29 shots.
In total, 11 different Flyers recorded points. Konecny led the way with three assists. Hayes, Couturier, Niskanen and van Riemsdyk each had two points.
The Flyers get back on the ice on Saturday night as they hit the road to face the Ottawa Senators at 7 p.m.
- PHI Mikhail Vorobyev (1) (Phil Myers, Travis Konecny) 13:04
- PHI James van Riemsdyk (9) (Kevin Hayes, Matt Niskanen) 15:32
- PHI Niskanen (5) PP (Hayes, Jake Voracek) 17:05
- PHI Ivan Provorov (8) PP (Konecny, Sean Couturier) 8:20
- PHI Tyler Pitlick (3) (Travis Sanheim) 9:22
- PHI van Riemsdyk (10) PP (Konecny, Couturier) 12:27
- BUF Victor Olofsson (15) PP (Rasmus Dahlin, Marcus Johansson) 11:35