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Philadelphia
Flyers
Buffalo
Sabres
2nd OT
32 SOG
58 SOG
1st2nd3rd2nd OTT
PHI
BUF
game recap

Sabres 3, Flyers 2, 2OT

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Sabres 3, Flyers 2, 2OT
Philadelphia Flyers 2, Buffalo Sabres 3

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Daniel Briere and the young Buffalo Sabres feel like postseason veterans now.

Briere tipped in Jochen Hecht's centering pass 7:31 into the second overtime for a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference playoff series Saturday night.

Although the Sabres did squander a 2-0 lead, giving up Simon Gagne's tying goal in the final two minutes of regulation, it was a strong outing for an youthful team making its first playoff appearance in five years.

"People complain about the Sabres not being an experienced team, but you play all the way into a second overtime against the Flyers with their history - it's pretty amazing," Briere said, making only his seventh career NHL postseason appearance. "I was surprised by the way we kept our composure."

The Sabres entered the game with a roster featuring a combined 295 playoff games or, in comparison, the same amount that Philadelphia's Peter Forsberg and Eric Desjardins had between them.

"The inexperience in this locker room just got a lot more experience," defenseman Brian Campbell said.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Monday night in Buffalo.

Tim Connolly and Jay McKee also scored for the Sabres who, including the regular season, have won six straight and eight of their last nine. Rookie Ryan Miller stopped 30 shots in his NHL playoff debut.

Mike Knuble had a goal and assist for Philadelphia. Despite the loss, Robert Esche had a solid night, stopping 55 shots, delivering on coach Ken Hitchcock's decision to give him the starting job over Antero Niittymaki.

The Flyers did receive a scare when rookie R.J. Umberger was knocked woozy and had to be helped off the ice in 12 minutes into the first overtime. He was hurt when he was leveled by Buffalo defenseman Brian Campbell at the Flyers' blue line.

Hitchcock said Umberger is fine and "good to go."

Umberger was spotted in the Flyers locker room walking around without any trouble following the game.

With a delayed penalty being called against the Flyers in the second OT, Hecht got to a loose puck in the left circle of the Philadelphia zone. Circling along the left boards, he sneaked a pass into the middle, where the wide-open Briere stuck his stick out and directed the puck past a helpless Esche.

"I saw Jochen going around their player and my eyes got a little big, and I was just hoping he'd see me backdoor," said Briere, who finished with a team-record 14 shots. "I had missed enough chances already tonight. I couldn't give `Eschey' another freebie."

The Sabres made it difficult on themselves in a game they had thoroughly dominated, outshooting the Flyers 29-12 through two periods and 58-32 overall. The 58 shots broke the franchise record of 57 set April 8, 1976, in a 3-2 overtime victory over St. Louis.

"My first thought? You can't write it," Esche said, referring to the loss. "I'm focused on seven games. I'm focused on leaving this one behind."

Esche's best stop came in the first overtime when he instinctively kicked out his right pad to prevent Drury's wraparound attempt from behind the net.

Miller wasn't as busy in the Buffalo net, but he was solid when tested. His best save came six minutes into overtime when Forsberg, from behind the net, set up Gagne for a one-timer from close range.

Miller had little chance on Gagne's tying goal, which came on the power play after Toni Lydman was called for delay of game when he backhanded the puck into the second row of the stands with Buffalo inexplicably reverting into a defensive shell.

After cutting the Sabres lead to 2-1 16 minutes into the second period, Knuble appeared to tie it three minutes later but the goal was disallowed when referee Dennis LaRue correctly ruled that Knuble batted the puck in with a high stick.

"Big sense of relief," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "In these games the hockey gods have to be with you. You have to get a few bounces."

Notes: Hecht returned after missing the final seven regular-season games with a knee injury. ... Knuble has scored in nine consecutive games against Buffalo, including the regular season, and dating to when he played with Boston. ... The Sabres, who ended the regular season with two shutout victories, had their shutout streak end at 178 minutes.

scoring summary
1st Period
05:20
BUF
Tim Connolly (1) Backhand shot - ASST: NONE
1 - 0 BUF
2nd Period
04:33
BUF
Jay McKee (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Brian Campbell (1), Daniel Briere (1)
2 - 0 BUF
16:34
PHI
Mike Knuble (1) Snap shot - ASST: Denis Gauthier (1), Eric Desjardins (1)
2 - 1 BUF
3rd Period
18:09
PHI
PPG - Simon Gagne (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Mike Knuble (1), Peter Forsberg (1)
2 - 2 Tie
1st OT Period
NONE
2nd OT Period
07:31
BUF
Daniel Briere (1) Tip-in - ASST: Jochen Hecht (1)
3 - 2 BUF
penalty summary
1st Period
01:47
PHI
Peter Forsberg  Holding against  Daniel Briere
10:09
BUF
Paul Gaustad  Roughing against  Derian Hatcher
10:09
PHI
Derian Hatcher  Roughing against  Paul Gaustad
15:55
BUF
Henrik Tallinder  Holding against  Simon Gagne
19:33
PHI
Mike Knuble  Holding the stick against  Maxim Afinogenov
2nd Period
00:28
PHI
Eric Desjardins  Hooking against  Daniel Briere
06:39
BUF
Toni Lydman  Interference against  Simon Gagne
09:19
PHI
Eric Desjardins  Delaying Game-Smothering puck
11:53
BUF
Michael Grier  Roughing against  Derian Hatcher
11:53
PHI
Derian Hatcher  Roughing against  Michael Grier
11:53
PHI
Mike Knuble  Roughing against  Michael Grier
18:54
BUF
Jay McKee  Holding against  Simon Gagne
3rd Period
07:40
PHI
Denis Gauthier  Cross checking against  Michael Grier
17:22
BUF
Toni Lydman  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
1st OT Period
00:26
BUF
Toni Lydman  Hooking against  Simon Gagne
07:16
PHI
R.J. Umberger  Hooking against  Paul Gaustad
11:28
PHI
Jeff Carter  Roughing against  Jay McKee
11:28
PHI
Jeff Carter  Roughing against  Jay McKee
11:28
BUF
Jay McKee  Roughing against  Jeff Carter
11:28
BUF
Jay McKee  Roughing against  Jeff Carter
14:41
BUF
Paul Gaustad  Roughing against  Mike Knuble
14:41
PHI
Mike Knuble  Roughing against  Paul Gaustad
14:41
PHI
Freddy Meyer  Hooking against  Jason Pominville
16:47
PHI
Mike Rathje  Tripping against  Derek Roy
2nd OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Robert Esche
SA: 58TOI: 87:25
Saves: 55EV: 38 - 41
PIM: 0PP: 17 - 17
SV%: .948SH: 0 - 0
Ryan Miller
SA: 32TOI: 87:11
Saves: 30EV: 25 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .938SH: 1 - 1