THE AFTERMATH: FLYERS 5, SABRES 4
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - It sounds so much like the familiar noise that can echo throughout Philadelphia's stadiums.
Only this call sounds so sweet to the Flyers.
Brian Boucher delivered again in the postseason, this time stopping 20 shots in a relief effort, and the Flyers beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 on Saturday to even their first-round series at a game apiece.
Boucher, one of many unlikely playoff stars when the Flyers orchestrated a surprising run to the Stanley Cup finals last season, relieved Sergei Bobrovsky after the rookie allowed three goals on seven shots.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Monday night in Buffalo... MORE
While the first period of Saturday’s game featured a flurry of goals, the second period turned into a special teams contest as Buffalo was shorthanded on six occasions and had two power plays. Although the penalty kill unit was able to hold strong for most of the period, they surrendered a power play goal with just over six minutes remaining. Less than two minutes after that, the Flyers scored again for what was the game’s most critical goal. After Matt Carle gained the zone, he passed the puck to Scott Hartnell, who was stationed at the blue line in the middle of the ice. Hartnell briefly mishandled the puck, but was able to gain just enough control to send a shot toward the net. Former Sabre Danny Briere had gone to the front of the net and the puck deflected off of him and past Miller to make it 5-3 for the eventual game-winning goal.
- After Game 1 of the series ended in a 1-0 Buffalo win, Game 2 began with the teams combining for six goals in the first 13:14 of the first period and went into the first intermission tied at 3-3.
- Andrej Sekera returned to the lineup after missing the last three games with an upper body injury and scored his first career playoff goal.
- Cody McCormick also scored his first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal in the third period.
- After the third Buffalo goal, Philadelphia pulled goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and replaced him with Brian Boucher at 12:30 of the first period. Bobrovsky stopped four of the seven shots he faced while Boucher stopped 20 of 21 shots.
- The Sabres’ penalty killing units are now 14-for-15 through the first two games of the series after going 9-for-10 in Game 2 and 5-for-5 in Game 1.
- According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Sabres were shorthanded 10 or more times in a playoff game was June 8, 1999 at Dallas in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
- For the second straight game, Chris Butler led the Sabres in ice time. He logged 27:08 in Game 2 and took three shots on goal.
- Tim Connolly won 15-of-27 faceoff attempts while Rob Niedermayer went 9-for-13.
- Ten different Sabres recorded a point in the game. Only Vanek (2 goals) had more than one point.
- Shaone Morrisonn did not play due to an undisclosed injury and is day-to-day, according to Lindy Ruff. Defenseman Dennis Persson was recalled from Portland on an emergency basis, but did not dress for the game. Mark Mancari and Patrick Lalime were also healthy scratches.
- Jordan Leopold (hand) and Jochen Hecht (upper body) remained sidelined due to injury.
- Defensemen Chris Pronger and Nick Boynton, forwards Jody Shelley and Nikolay Zherdev and goaltender Michael Leighton were scratched for the Flyers.
The Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series between the Sabres and Flyers will shift to Buffalo on Monday when the teams square off at HSBC Arena in Game 3. The Sabres were 21-16-4 on home ice this season, including 7-1-2 in their final 10 home outings of the year. Buffalo and Philadelphia faced off at HSBC Arena on April 8 in the Sabres’ regular season home finale. Needing a point to clinch a playoff berth, the Sabres tied the game in the third period on a goal by Nathan Gerbe, his second of the game, to force overtime and secure a playoff spot. Thomas Vanek would then win the game on an end-to-end rush in overtime, scoring on a breakaway. Game 4 of the series will take place Wednesday in Buffalo.