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Flyers score twice in first 1:56 en route to 3-2 victory

Wednesday, 11.2.2011 / 10:30 PM ET / THE AFTERMATH
By Kevin Snow  - (@kwsnow)
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After two days of high-tempo practices, the Buffalo Sabres fell behind early on Wednesday and were never able to recover. The Philadelphia Flyers scored three times in the first period – including a pair in the first 1:56 – and held on to defeat Buffalo 3-2 at First Niagara Center. The Sabres have now dropped to 1-3 during their season-high five-game homestand, with one more game remaining on Friday against Calgary.

Jason Pominville said that getting off to a good start tonight was something the team had stressed over the past few days. He had a hard time explaining what happened in the first period.

"The frustrating part is that we talked about it the last few days, then went out there and did it again."

Click here to listen to Lindy Ruff's post-game press conference.

Before many fans had settled into their seats, Sean Couturier and James van Riemsdyk put the Flyers up 2-0 with goals just 13 seconds apart. Scott Hartnell made it 3-0 at 6:23 when he unloaded a slapshot past Ryan Miller, sending Buffalo’s netminder to the bench. It was the third-earliest time in a game that Miller had ever been replaced, as he allowed three goals on 11 shots.

“I was fighting position on the first one; I couldn’t quite get where I needed to be, couldn’t get recovered with the traffic,” Miller explained. “After that it was two high glove shots. Good shots, but at the same time they were cross body from that side. I’d like to be better and have that.”

Luke Adam had a goal and assist for Buffalo, while Andrej Sekera picked up his first goal of the season to open the scoring for the Sabres in the second period.
  • Jhonas Enroth stopped all 15 shots he faced in relief of Miller.
  • Buffalo was 36-19 on faceoffs; Derek Roy topped both teams with a game-high 17 wins.
  • Thomas Vanek was injured in the second period, but returned late in the third with stitches on his right eyelid. The cause of his injury wasn’t disclosed.
  • After being outshot 14-8 in the first, Buffalo led 23-12 over the final two periods.
  • Jason Pominville took a game-high five shots on goal.
  • Buffalo outhit Philadelphia 19-16; Patrick Kaleta led the way for both teams with six.

7:12 - Welcome to another edition of the Buffalo Sabres live game blog, where tonight I’ll dissect all the action between the Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers. Not to open every blog with a weather comment, but it was an absolutely glorious day here in Western New York. With the sunshine and 60 degree temps, it felt like an early spring day during my post-lunch walk from the parking lot to First Niagara Center.
7:31 - Sabres starters: Sekera/Myers ... Gerbe/Adam/Stafford ... Miller
7:32 - Flyers starters: Carle/Gustafsson ... Nodl/Talbot/Simmonds ... Bryzgalov
7:33 - BUF scratches: Ennis, Gragnani. PHIL scratches: Briere, Pronger, Read, Zolnierczyk
7:34 - Be sure to check back after the game for more in-depth coverage at We’ll have an enhanced version of the game blog complete with highlights, interviews and Lindy Ruff’s post-game press conference.
7:34 - Let’s take a look at some of the storylines heading into tonight’s game against Philadelphia:
7:34 - ** First of four meetings between the Sabres and Flyers this season; 154th all-time meeting (61-71-22). Ryan Miller is 12-8-1 all-time against the Flyers with a 2.88 GAA.
7:35 - ** Jason Pominville leads all Sabres with 10 goals and 22 points in 22 career games against Philly. Buffalo’s PK is 34/37 (91.9%) this season, good for 2nd in the NHL
7:36 - ** Brad Boyes has five points (2+3) during a three-game point streak. aromir Jagr’s 96 points (41+55) against Buffalo lead all active players

7:40 - And we're underway at the FNC!
7:43 - PHIL 1-0: Couturier is all alone in the slot to bury the rebound as Miller gets caught up in traffic (1:43)
7:45 - PHIL 2-0: Just 13 seconds later, van Riemsdyk goes top shelf on Miller from the right faceoff dot to give the Flyers an early two-goal lead
7:48 - Sabres lines are changed from practice already. Adam playing with Stafford & Gerbe ... Roy playing RW with Kaleta & Gaustad
7:49 - Miller sprawls to rob Jagr of a sure goal at the left post.
7:50 - PHIL 3-0: Hartnell unloads a blast from the top of the circle ... and there goes Miller. (6:23)
7:52 - Jhonas Enroth takes over in net, after Miller allowed 3 goals on 11 shots.
7:56 - Time to catch your breath with a TV timeout. There's 10:36 left in the 1st. Philadelphia leads 3-0, and also holds an 11-3 shots advantage.
7:59 - Leino and Roy almost connect for a goal, but Roy fires wide.
8:00 - Leino is back with Stafford & Roy; and the Vanek-Adam-Pominville line have been reunited as well.
When you get in that situation, after pulling your goaltender, you need familiarity. It's not the time to test drive anymore lines. - Lindy Ruff
8:02 - Sabres on the PP -- Holmstrom called for Holding
8:03 - 22/9/26 start on the PP, with 57/29 up top
8:03 - Roy now slides back to point as expected
8:09 - 2:32 remaining.
8:10 - Stafford gets in tight but is stopped by Bryzgalov. Stafford has been generating chances throughout the period
8:11 - Last minute of play, and the Flyers just miss #4
8:12 - Pominville misfires giving Bryzgalov the easy stop.
8:12 - End of 1: Flyers lead 3-0 SHOTS: PHIL - 14, BUF -- 8
8:18 - Derek Roy has 3 of Buffalo's 8 shots .... Meszaros & Lilja have 3 each for the Flyers
8:19 - Sabres hold a 12-4 faceoff lead. Gaustad is 3-0, Adam & Roy both 3-1

8:30 - The second period is underway.
8:32 - Jagr pleads his case, but still gets assessed a holding call on Weber. Not much he could really say there, it was pretty obvious.
8:34 - Sabres get a few shots through early on the PP but no second chances.
8:36 - When Jagr comes to play he can still be a very dominant big body down low.
8:38 - Philadelphia burns their timeout as the Sabres take an early 5-1 lead in shots
8:39 - Enroth turns away Hartnell on a partial breakaway after he picks up the Ehrhoff giveaway
8:41 - GOAL!
8:42 - Sekera's point shot hits the back boards, and Vanek deflects the bouncing puck between Bryzgalov's legs from the side of the net. (7:49)
8:44 - Timonen dumps Roy in the faceoff circle, and the Sabres head back to the PP -- with some momentum now. The crowd is back in the game in a big way.
8:45 - Healthy changes everything ... and so would a PP goal right about now.
8:46 - The Myers blast from the point is easily stopped by Bryzgalov. The Flyers then proceed to mug Vanek in the crease.
8:48 - Adam's wraparound is thwarted, as are the subsequent shots by Stafford in tight.
8:53 - 6:11 left in the 2nd, and we're into another TV timeout. Buffalo has 12 shots this period, and now lead 20-18 overall. However the Flyers are doing a nice job of clearing out the initial attempts, denying any secondary scoring opportunities.
8:55 - Derek Roy leads all Sabres forwards in ice time so far. He's out there now with Leino & Stafford.
8:56 - Leino fires wide after being set up in the slot.
8:58 - Voracek takes Philly's 4th penalty of the night - a holding call. Not to jinx it, but the Sabres have yet to be called for a penalty tonight.
9:00 - Sekera steps into one but it gets tipped wide.
9:02 - Ellis/Gaustad/Kaleta provide some much needed puck pressure in the Flyers zone.
9:02 - Last minute of play.
9:05 - After Leino gets hit along the boards after the buzzer, and end of period scrum results in a fight between Coburn and Weber.
9:06 - End of 2: Flyers continue to lead 3-1. But the Sabres outshoot Philly 15-5 in the period to take a 23-19 overall lead.
9:10 - Sabres hold a 22-11 lead in faceoffs, with Derek Roy winning a game-high 10 of 15 draws so far.
9:11 - Buffalo outhitting Philly 15-11. Patrick Kaleta leads the way with 5.
9:20 - Just to correct earlier post: Buffalo's goal has been credited to Sekera, with assists to Leopold and Adam
9:21 - Luke Adam is now on a 4-game point streak
9:23 - Adam leads all rookies in assists (7), and his 10 points are just one shy of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the overall freshman lead.
9:23 - Here we go!
9:24 - Flyers on a 5-on-4. Roy picked up 2 for slashing at the end of the 2nd
9:25 - Vanek not on Sabres bench to start the period. Awaiting update.
9:26 - Stafford nearly catches Bryzgalov flatfooted in the crease with a 30-foot wristshot
9:32 - Flyers end up on the PP after that scrum in front of the benches. Amidst all the penalties, Gaustad picks up the extra pair.
9:34 - Pominville's leads Gerbe just one step too far with a pass through the crease, right before 28's penalty comes to an end. Back to full strength
9:37 - 13:28 left in the 3rd. Faceoff to the right of Bryzgalov
9:38 - Gerbe spins and fires an off-balance shot that Bryzgalov gets a clear view of.
9:39 - Still awaiting word on Vanek.
9:40 - No need to panic -- Vanek back on the ice with 12 mins left
9:41 - GOAL!
9:42 - 3-2: Vanek's return provides an immediate spark to the offense. After he gets hooked in close, Adam picks up the loose puck on the delayed penalty and fires a shot from behind the net that banks off Bryzgalov.
9:42 - Luke Adam is now tied for the NHL's rookie scoring lead with 11 points
9:46 - Big save by Enroth! He blocks Couturier's first shot then scoops up the rebound.
9:46 - 9:04 left. The Sabres have outshot Philadelphia 19-10 since the start of the 2nd period.
9:47 - Enroth has stopped all 13 shots sent his way since he took over early in the 1st.
9:51 - Jagr just misses wide as the Flyers buzz the Sabres zone. Enroth standing tall in the net.
9:52 - Regehr picks up 2 for elbowing.
9:54 - Kaleta just misses in tight after the pass from Gerbe.
9:55 - 3:34 left in the 3rd - final TV timeout of the night.
9:57 - Watch for Derek Roy to take all the big faceoffs now. He's 15-of-21 tonight.
10:00 - Sabres called for offside with 1:31 left
10:01 - Pominville steps into a wrister that Bryzgalov squeezes tight
10:01 - Enroth pulled...
10:02 - 42.5 left. Sabres called for offside with 2 men trapped in the zone. Lindy Ruff uses this opportunity to call a timeout.
10:03 - 26/29/9/57/10 on ice -- Enroth back in for now
10:04 - Vanek denied! Almost bangs home the Myers pass
10:04 - Sabres on PP -- and Vanek stopped again
10:05 - FINAL SCORE: Philadelphia 3 -- Buffalo 2
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