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game recap

Flyers 5, Sabres 4

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Flyers 5, Sabres 4
Buffalo Sabres 4, Philadelphia Flyers 5

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.

"Boooooooosh!"

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.

And now, the question everyone wants answered is this: Boosh or Bob?

Well, no one in the home locker room touched that one.

Boucher: "We'll see what happens. We'll deal with that (Sunday). I'll be prepared for whatever."

Bobrovsky: "Whatever the coach says, I will do."

And the man with the final answer, coach Peter Laviolette, refused to discuss his decision.

"We don't talk about goaltenders, injuries or lineups," he said. "That should take care of it."

But he did praise Boucher.

"Brian has bailed us out so many times. He just has a sense of calmness about him," Laviolette said. "It was such a lively game, and he can come in and really settle things down for us. That's what he did tonight."

Introduced to the familiar strains of "Booosh," Boucher stopped 17 straight shots into the third, and brought a calming sense to what was becoming a video game-like contest, stuffed with goals, penalties, fights and controversy.

"Obviously, it's a little more comfortable to know that you are getting the start and prepare the day before accordingly," Boucher said. "But, sometimes, you have to deal with curveballs."

Ville Leino and Danny Briere scored clutch goals in the second period that put the Flyers up for good.

Thomas Vanek had two power-play goals for the Sabres, and Andrej Sekera and Cody McCormick also scored.

"I think home ice is nice, hopefully we get a boost from it," Vanek said. "We know Philly is a good road team and we expect tight games again."

The Flyers and Sabres combined for six goals, almost 30 penalty minutes and three goalies in the first period. There was still 40 minutes left - and each team thrilled down to the final seconds.

The frustration from Game 1's punchless offense was taken out with punches almost from the opening faceoff. Paul Gaustad cross-checked Briere on a faceoff, and Scott Hartnell backed Briere by triggering a quick fight with Gaustad. It wasn't much of a bout. Gaustad yanked Hartnell's sweater over his face and unloaded his fists on his face. Both players then hit the penalty box - part of 54 combined penalty minutes.

"I think we did get a little bit too jacked up," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "I thought our response was a little too far, but I'd like to take it too far than not enough. I would love them to do so in our building."

The Philly crowd, which had nothing to cheer about in Game 1, went wild and suddenly it felt like playoff hockey.

At that point, it was already 1-1. Claude Giroux needed only 4 minutes to put the Flyers in front, then pounded on the glass in a celebration that riled up the orange-and-black diehards. Vanek tied it just 2:43 later.

Bobrovsky had earned the nod from Laviolette after a solid rookie season. The Flyers used Boucher and Michael Leighton in their run to the Stanley Cup finals last season, so there's no guarantee the rookie gets another chance.

Bobrovsky allowed soft goals to Vanek and Sekera, helping Buffalo build a 3-2 lead.

The Flyers were bailed out, though, when James van Riemsdyk fired a wrister off the post and past Ryan Miller to tie it again.

Miller failed to build off his sensational 35-save shutout in Game 1.

"They were putting pucks on the net so I guess that is what you get," Miller said. "You have to put pucks on net and sometimes you are going to get it and they got a few."

The Flyers pounded Miller most of the first two periods and finally cashed in on the power play when Leino made it 4-3 in the second. In an absolutely futile special teams effort, the Flyers failed to score on two 5-on-3 attempts after going scoreless in a Game 1 two-man advantage attempt.

But Leino, another playoff star a year ago, gave the Flyers the lead on a short-side power-play wrister. Briere, a former Sabres co-captain, added a breathing-room goal.

The Sabres sliced the lead to 5-4 in the third when McCormick tipped Rob Niedermayer's backhander past Boucher.

No matter who is in net for the Flyers, they would love to have Chris Pronger back on the blue line. Pronger did not play for the second straight playoff game because of broken right hand. He remains day to day.

The Flyers also have to fix the power play after a woeful 1 for 15 effort in the series.

Dan Carcillo also scored for the Flyers in the frantic first period. He was left all alone at the tip of the crease and had an easy look off a rebound that made it 2-1 in a scrum-filled stanza.

"Both games were great hockey," Laviolette said, "They were just played differently."

NOTES: Sabres D Shaone Morrisonn did not play after getting hit in Game 1 and is day to day with an undisclosed injury. ... Sekera returned after missing three games with an upper-body injury.

scoring summary
1st Period
04:00
PHI
Claude Giroux (1) Snap shot - ASST: Kimmo Timonen (1), Braydon Coburn (1)
1 - 0 PHI
06:43
BUF
PPG - Thomas Vanek (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Marc-Andre Gragnani (2), Jason Pominville (1)
1 - 1 Tie
07:20
PHI
Daniel Carcillo (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Kris Versteeg (1), Matthew Carle (1)
2 - 1 PHI
09:43
BUF
PPG - Thomas Vanek (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Drew Stafford (1), Tim Connolly (1)
2 - 2 Tie
12:30
BUF
Andrej Sekera (1) Snap shot - ASST: Patrick Kaleta (1)
3 - 2 BUF
13:14
PHI
James van Riemsdyk (1) Snap shot - ASST: Claude Giroux (1), Andrej Meszaros (1)
3 - 3 Tie
2nd Period
13:36
PHI
PPG - Ville Leino (1) Snap shot - ASST: Kimmo Timonen (2), Andrej Meszaros (2)
4 - 3 PHI
15:27
PHI
Daniel Briere (1) Deflected shot - ASST: Scott Hartnell (1), Matthew Carle (2)
5 - 3 PHI
3rd Period
06:12
BUF
Cody McCormick (1) Backhand shot - ASST: Rob Niedermayer (1), Michael Grier (1)
5 - 4 PHI
penalty summary
1st Period
04:14
PHI
Scott Hartnell  Roughing against  Andrej Sekera
05:52
PHI
Kimmo Timonen  Hooking against  Tyler Ennis
06:45
PHI
Scott Hartnell  Fighting (maj) against  Paul Gaustad
06:45
BUF
Paul Gaustad  Fighting (maj) against  Scott Hartnell
06:45
BUF
Patrick Kaleta  Roughing against  Daniel Briere
06:45
PHI
Daniel Briere  Roughing against  Patrick Kaleta
09:06
PHI
Darroll Powe  Cross checking against  Cody McCormick
10:18
BUF
Andrej Sekera  Interference against  Daniel Briere
16:02
BUF
Nathan Gerbe  Roughing against  Claude Giroux
16:02
BUF
Nathan Gerbe  Roughing against  Claude Giroux
16:02
PHI
Claude Giroux  Roughing against  Nathan Gerbe
16:45
BUF
Tyler Myers  Interference against  Scott Hartnell
2nd Period
02:57
BUF
Tyler Myers  Tripping against  Scott Hartnell
05:18
BUF
Thomas Vanek  Too many men/ice - bench
07:13
PHI
Jeff Carter  Hooking against  Patrick Kaleta
08:01
BUF
Jason Pominville  Tripping against  Claude Giroux
09:22
BUF
Paul Gaustad  Holding the stick against  Scott Hartnell
12:25
BUF
Steve Montador  Tripping against  James van Riemsdyk
15:39
BUF
Patrick Kaleta  Roughing against  Sean O'Donnell
17:30
PHI
Daniel Carcillo  Too many men/ice - bench
3rd Period
00:10
PHI
Andrej Meszaros  Slashing against  Nathan Gerbe
04:03
PHI
Kimmo Timonen  Tripping against  Nathan Gerbe
06:21
PHI
Kimmo Timonen  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
09:02
BUF
Andrej Sekera  Hi-sticking against  Claude Giroux
goalie stats
Ryan Miller
SA: 34TOI: 58:46
Saves: 29EV: 13 - 17
PIM: 0PP: 13 - 14
SV%: .853SH: 3 - 3
Brian Boucher
Brian Boucher
SA: 21TOI: 46:40
Saves: 20EV: 13 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .952SH: 3 - 3
Sergei Bobrovsky
Sergei Bobrovsky
SA: 7TOI: 12:30
Saves: 4EV: 1 - 2
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 5
SV%: .571SH: 0 - 0