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A Thriller In Philly

Saturday, 03.11.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
Buffalo Sabres | Press Release
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A Thriller In Philly
With just 4.6 seconds remaining in regulation, Mike Grier one-timed a feed from Derek Roy to give the Sabres the 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers during a Saturday matinee at the Wachovia Center. Buffalo's recent scoring surge, 14 goals in two games, has extended the team's winning streak to five games.

"It's a lot of fun scoring all those goals," said Sabres co-captain Daniel Briere. "It doesn't happen too often and I'm sure Lindy (Ruff) is not a real big fan with those high scoring games, but they are fun to play in once in while especially when you finish on the winning end."

Since returning from the Olympic break, the Sabres top line has been just that. The combination of Briere, JP Dumont and Jochen Hecht has recorded 10 goals and 20 assists for 30 points in Buffalo's last six games.

Hecht led all Sabres scorers against the Flyers with a goal and three assists, while Dumont and Briere each added a goal and two assists.

"JP and I are so excited to be back and I think that plays a big role in our recent success," said Briere of himself and Dumont, who missed a combined 53 games due to injury this season. "For some reason, the three of us have that chemistry. We can find each other really well on the ice and it has been a lot of fun."

Buffalo's scoring was rounded out with a goal and an assist from Teppo Numminen, who recorded his first goal off the season midway through the second, and Chris Drury, who scored his 20th of the season in the third.

"We're finding ways to win and are showing a lot of character," said Briere. "That's not going to change. We been through a lot of adversity with all of our injuries all season, so finding a way to win is nothing new to us."

Martin Biron recorded the win for Buffalo after making just a single save. Biron replaced goaltender Ryan Miller at the beginning of the third period after the rookie netminder allowed five goals in for the second time in as many starts. Miller finished the game recording 15 saves.

Winning after allowing nearly a half dozen goals is not an easy feat. The only other time the Sabres recorded back-to-back victories after allowing five goals in consecutive games was during the 1983-84 season.

Craig Billington of the Colorado Avalanche was the last goaltender to record a win after making one or fewer saves. Billington didn't register a single save but recorded the victory after playing the final two minutes in an Avalanche win on December 12, 1998.

"One thing that stood out for me tonight is if you look at Philadelphia's first goal, Grier turned the puck over," said Briere. "He was really mad at himself the rest of the game and I think Lindy kind of made him pass on a few shifts. In the end, Mike's the one who came back and scored the big goal with just five seconds left. I thought he showed a lot of character by doing that."

Philadelphia converted on pair of giveaways by the Sabres to enter the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.

After Grier mishandled the puck in Buffalo's zone, Mike Knuble snapped a wristshot over Miller's right shoulder to give Philadelphia the lead at 3:50.

Midway through the first, Thomas Vanek coughs up the puck just inside the Flyers blue line, springing Philadelphia on a two-on-one rush. Sami Kapanen beat Miller with a quick wristshot on the netminder's glove side from the left hash marks at 10:32 for the shorthanded tally.

Just 15 seconds into the second, Dumont notches his 14th goal of the season after a give-and-go with Hecht. Controlling the puck into Philadelphia's zone, Dumont fed Hecht along the left boards where the winger immediately slide a return pass to Dumont at the right post for the easy redirect.

Following a flurry of activity in front of Antero Niittymaki that had the netminder flat on his stomach, Dumont brought the puck behind the net and returned the favor to Hecht, finding his linemate at the right post. Hecht banked a shot off Philadelphia's goaltender into the net at 4:42.

Brian Savage ripped a slapshot from the top of the left face-off circle that slipped between Miller's glove and left pad before deflecting off the right post for the Flyers second shorthanded goal of the game at 7:51.

Briere stickhandled Drury's rebound around the right pad of Niittymaki and shoveled in Buffalo's first power-play goal of the game to even the score 3-3 at 9:06.

Numminen scored his first goal of the season to give Buffalo its first lead of the game three minutes later. Following a two-on-one rush, Numminen backhanded Hecht's rebound over the glove of the Flyers netminder for the 112th goal of his career at 12:13.

Simon Gagne ripped a blazing wristshot from the left hash marks off the post to tie the game 4-4 at 15:47.

Receiving a feed from Branko Radivojevic in the slot, Mike Richards rings a wristshot off the crossbar to regain the Philadelphia lead with just 31 seconds remaining in the second.

Along the goal line on the right wing, Drury fired top shelf to even the score 5-5 at 5:06 of the third.

Buffalo dominated the third, outshooting Philadelphia 14-1 in the final period.
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SCORING REPORTS
Scoresheet | Super Stats | Faceoff Comp | Play By Play | Shift Chart

GAME BLOG:
Period 1
0-1 (3:50): Off a Buffalo turnover in their own zone, Mike Knuble snaps a wristshot over the right shoulder of Ryan Miller from the left faceoff dot to give Philadelphia the lead almost four minutes into the game. RJ Umberger gets the lone helper.

0-2 (10:32): Thomas Vanek coughs up the puck just inside the Flyers blueline, springing Philadelphia on a two-on-one rush, where Sami Kapanen beat Miller with a quick wristshot on the netminder's glove side. The shorthanded goal is unassisted.

Period 2
1-2 (0:15): Just 15 seconds into the second period, JP Dumont notches his 14th goal of the season after a give-and-go with Jochen Hecht. Controlling the puck into Philadelphia's zone, Dumont fed Hecht along the left boards where the winger immediately slide a return pass to Dumont at the right post for the easy deflection. Hecht and Teppo Numminen get the helpers.

2-2 (4:42): Following a flurry of activity in front of Antero Niittymaki that had the netminder flat on his stomach, JP Dumont brought the puck behind the net and found Hecht at the right post, where the forward banked a shot off Philadelphia's goaltender into the net. Dumont and Daniel Briere record the assists.

2-3 (7:51): Brian Savage ripped a slapshot from the top of the left faceoff circle that slipped between Miller's glove and left pad before deflecting off the right post into the net for the Flyers second shorthanded goal of the game. The goal is Savage's eighth of the season. Joni Pitkanen gets the lone helper.

3-3 (9:06): Daniel Briere stickhandles Chris Drury's rebound around the right pad of Niittymaki and shovels in Buffalo's first power-play goal of the game. The goal is Briere's 17th of the season. JP Dumont gets the primary helper, while Drury gets the secondary.

4-3 (12:13): Teppo Numminen scored his first goal of the season to give Buffalo its first lead of the game. Following a two-on-one rush, Numminen backhanded Jochen Hecht's rebound over the glove of the Flyers netminder for the 112th goal of his career. Hecht gets the lone helper.

4-4 (15:47): Simon Gagne ripped a blazing wristshot from the left hashmarks off the post to tie the game. The goal is Gagne's 38th of the season. Peter Forsberg gets his 51st assist of the season on the play.

4-5 (19:29): Receiving a feed from Branko Radivojevic in the slot, Mike Richards rings a wristshot off the crossbar to regain the Philadelphia lead with just 31 seconds remaining in the second. Radivojevic and Donald Brashear get the helpers.

5-5 (5:06): Along the goal line on the right wing, Chris Drury fired topshelf to even the score. The goal is Drury's 20th goal of the season and Buffalo's second power-play marker of the contest. Tim Connolly and Ales Kotalik record the helpers.

6-5 (19:55): With just 4.6 seconds remaining in regulation, Derek Roy spun and found Mike Grier in front of the net from behind the net. Grier one-timed the feed for his sixth goal of the season and a 6-5 Buffalo win.
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Quotes courtesy of WGR 550-AM, the official radio partner of the Buffalo Sabres.

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