It was a must win situation for the Philadelphia Flyers. After dropping three straight games, they needed desperately to stop their downward spiral and get back onto the right track. The Flyers fell 3-0 to the Boston Bruins on Saturday in a game where there was little energy and minimal effort. Coach Peter Laviolette had a closed door team meeting afterward to address the issues that were haunting this club. Whatever was said in that locker room would take effect on Sunday when the Philadelphia Flyers hosted the Buffalo Sabres.
The Broad Street Bullies came out flying in the first period against the Sabres and quickly jumped to an 8-0 advantage in shots. Buffalo netminder Ryan Miller would keep the game scoreless early as he robbed Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek point blank. The 2010 Olympic goaltender wouldn’t be able to keep the puck out for long though as the Flyers would capitalize on a power-play 4:31 in.
Offensive defenseman Kimmo Timonen made a terrific pass from his own blue line to a streaking Simon Gagne up the ice. The newly acquired Flyer took the pass at the Sabres blue line and broke in all alone on Miller. He got off a snap shot and it trickled through the legs of the goaltender and put the home team up 1-0. The veteran forward now has two goals in six games so far with the Flyers despite notching zero in 11 games with the Los Angeles Kings before the trade.
The Flyers would be forced to kill their own penalty four minutes later but they would make the best out of the situation. With Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds off for slashing, the shorthanded duo of Ruslan Fedotenko and Maxime Talbot would go to work. Fedotenko would capitalize on a Steve Ott turnover to go up ice two on one with Talbot. Fedotenko would feather a beautiful saucer pass over to a streaking Talbot who would bury one by Miller for his second of the year.
Brian Flynn would put the Sabres on the board, however, about three minutes later. After Ilya Bryzgalov turned aside a Kevin Porter shot, Flynn would jump on the rebound to put the visitors within one. It was only the Sabres second shot on goal in the game and it was Flynn’s second tally in as many games. Before the period expired, Wayne Simmonds would deal out a questionable hit on Sabres forward Tyler Ennis. Simmonds hit the small forward just after he had turned his back to Simmonds. Sabres Mike Weber would take exception and drop the glove with Simmonds where the Flyers forward clearly got the better of the Buffalo defenseman. Ennis left the game and did not return.
Captain Claude Giroux would regain the Flyers two goal lead early in the second period when he carried the puck all by himself into the Sabres zone and wristed a shot by Ryan Miller. It was the captain’s eighth goal on the year and put the Flyers up 3-1. Kimmo Timonen would tally his 16th assist of the season on the play.
Bryzgalov would make the save of the game late in the second period when he robbed Sabres forward Cody Hodgson point blank. The rebound from a Christian Ehrhoff shot went straight to Hodgson who appeared to have an open net. Bryz made a strong push to get over and rob the young forward and keep the Flyers leading by two.
The Sabres would make it interesting in the third when a Claude Giroux turnover in the Sabres zone on the power-play led to a two on one in the opposite direction. Steve Ott would feed Jochen Hecht who would put a shorthanded goal by Bryzgalov to put the game within one. The Sabres would get a golden opportunity a minute later when a Hodgson shot squeaked between the pads of Bryzgalov and trickled toward the goal line. Brayden Schenn was able come back to pull the puck from behind the goalie and maintain the Flyers one goal lead. The Sabres wouldn’t be able to get anything by Bryz for the rest of the evening as the Flyers would hold on to win 3-1.
- Zac Rinaldo was a physical terror for the Flyers on Sunday. Every shift he had he was out looking for a body to bang. The pesky forward dished out 7 hits and had fourteen penalty minutes on the night. He may be hated by some but his energy helps lift the entire team and crowd
- With two assists Sunday, Flyers Defenseman Kimmo Timonen is now second in defenseman scoring with 19 points. That is quite impressive for the 37 year old
- The Flyers will get some much needed rest as they play three games over the next 13 days
- The Flyers improved to 9-4-0 this season when scoring the first goal
- Talbot isn’t necessarily known for his goal scoring mainly but his shorthanded tally today was his 15th of his career. Talk about scoring in clutch situations