By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
The Flyers prepare for the second half of a back-to-back after a big win against the Blues. It’s important for the Flyers to not play down to the Sabres after a week of strong hockey for the Orange and Black.
First period: The Flyers open the game with a pair of penalties, first from Voracek just one minute in, then from Simmonds just over three minutes in. Both penalties were killed, but the Sabres had quality chances both times, including a huge glove save by Neuvirth on Reinhart. The Flyers failed to capitalize on a powerplay of their own, which lead to the rest of the period being run by the Sabres, with only flashes of offense from the Flyers.
Second period: The second period opens the same as the first, with a Flyers penalty for hooking just 1:30 in. O’Reilly capitalized with an absolute laser of a goal, giving the Sabres the 1-0 lead. Just less than two minutes later Gostisbehere ties it up with a great shot from the point. Couturier breaks the tie on the powerplay after burying a pass from Giroux behind the net. the Flyers failed to score on 1:04 of four-on-three play, and 56 seconds of normal powerplay time.
Third period: A relatively quiet, back-and-fourth period got scary when Robin Lehner took a puck up in the neck area, he was down for a few minutes, but ultimately stayed in the game. The Sabres pulled their goalie with 1:49 left and Couturier scored his second of the day, and fourth in the last 24 hours. Buffalo pulled Lehner again with 48 seconds, and this time Provorov found the back of the net, sealing a 4-1 Flyers win.
Takeaways: This team lacked the grit and energy of the past couple games, but at this point a win is a win. After a three-game wins streak with some overall good play, the real question is if they can continue to keep up this high level of play once the break is over.
Three stars of the game
3) Jake Voracek
2) Sean Couturier
1) Shayne Gostisbehere
BUF: O’Reilly (Eichel, Ristolainen)
PHI: Gostisbehere (Laughton, Lehtera)
PHI: Couturier (Voracek, Giroux)
PHI: Couturier (Raffl, Voracek)
PHI: Provorov (Simmonds, MacDonald)
photo credit rantsports.com