Sabres Hand Flyers 1st Loss in Rout
The Flyers managed to survive Friday's game despite sloppy play by being opportunistic and getting the goaltending to withstand any mistakes. They had no such luck against the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.
The Sabres struck for the game's first goal late in the first, then added three goals in the second period to chase Carter Hart from the game, as the Flyers were routed, 6-1, at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers got a couple of good shifts early, notably from the fourth line, but struggled throughout the opening period. Play remained sloppy in the neutral zone, they were very limited in the offensive zone, and turnovers led to opportunities for Buffalo.
The Sabres finally cashed in on one at 15:52 of the period. After a clearing attempt through the neutral zone went off the hand of Phil Myers, Curtis Lazar picked up the puck with speed at the Flyers blue line. He went wide on Myers and fired a backhand that hit the far post and went in, giving the Sabres the 1-0 lead.
Buffalo carried the momentum through the remainder of the period, taking an 11-4 lead in shots to the break.
The Sabres kept the pressure on to start the second, getting an early power play and cashing in. Taylor Hall managed to get the puck across to Sam Reinhart, who fired a shot that went off of Hart and in to make it 2-0 at 3:35.
Less than three minutes later, Reinhart was at it again. This time, he scored on a shot from the slot after the puck eluded Hart on a dump-in and the Flyers lost a battle in the corner. Reinhart's second of the game came at 6:28 of the period.
Less than two minutes after that, another Buffalo goal chased Hart from the game. After a shot by Brandon Montour caught Hart up high, Riley Sheahan threw it back into the slot and through the legs of Erik Gustafsson to Lazar for the slam dunk, making it 4-0.
Hart exited having allowed four goals on 22 shots. The Sabres had four shots for the remainder of the period.
Meanwhile, the Flyers couldn't do much as the period progressed. While they managed 11 shots in the period, far surpassing their first period total, they struggled to get to the net and create pressure or traffic. In the closing seconds of the period, Myers hit the post with a shot, coming as close as the Flyers would get to scoring in the period.
The Sabres mainly stayed the course in the third, allowing the Flyers to dump the puck in and gain entry, but not allowing a lot in terms of chances.
Buffalo added to their lead midway through the period. Henri Jokiharju slid a backhand along the ice that hit the skate of Gustafsson and went in to make it 5-0.
With 2:05 to play, Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored to break up the shutout bid, but Victor Olofsson scored on a power play to restore the five-goal margin.
Carter Hutton finished the game with 21 saves in the win. Elliott made 13 saves on 15 shots in relief of Hart.
These two teams get back on the ice again tomorrow at Wells Fargo Center. The opening face-off is set for 7 p.m.
- BUF Curtis Lazar (1) (Unassisted) 15:52
- BUF Sam Reinhart (1) PP (Taylor Hall, Jack Eichel) 3:35
- BUF Reinhart (2) (Eichel, Hall) 6:28
- BUF Lazar (2) (Riley Sheahan, Brandon Montour) 8:09
- BUF Henri Jokiharju (1) (Eric Staal) 10:47
- PHI Nicolas Aube-Kubel (1) (Michael Raffl, Travis Sanheim) 17:55
- BUF Victor Olofsson (2) PP (Hall, Eichel) 18:49
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.