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Buffalo
Sabres
39-31-12
Philadelphia
Flyers
42-29-11

21 SOG
21 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
BUF
PHI
game recap

Sabres 5, Flyers 2

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:30 AM

Associated Press

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Sabres 5, Flyers 2
Buffalo Sabres 5, Philadelphia Flyers 2

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Derek Roy was so wide-open, it didn't look right. As it turned out, he was an extra skater.

Roy and Jason Pominville scored 18 seconds apart early in the third period to lift the Buffalo Sabres over the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Tuesday night. Pominville and Maxim Afinogenov each had two goals for the Sabres, who pulled within one point of the Flyers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

When Roy scored the decisive goal just 66 seconds into the third period, it seemed he took advantage of a costly mental lapse by Philly's defense. But Flyers coach John Stevens was furious after the game because Roy was the fifth skater during a 4-on-4. Replays clearly showed the Sabres already had four players on the ice when Roy hopped over the boards and skated to the Flyers' blue line.

"I may have left the bench a little early, but it wasn't intentional," Roy said. "I saw our guy coming to the bench and I looked away and I just jumped on the ice ... and I left early. I'll take it. I think we outplayed them in the third period, anyway."

Neither Stevens nor anyone else on Philadelphia's bench caught the mistake immediately.

"I saw it after the fact," Stevens said. "It's a totally blown call. There's no excuse after that, but that third goal is a killer and it's a totally blown call."

Buffalo snapped a two-game losing streak with its second win in six games. Desperate to avoid falling five points behind the Flyers, the Sabres played like a team in a must-win situation.

Now they're right back in the playoff mix with 15 games remaining.

"You look at it, they would be up by five points if we don't win this one and now we're one point behind them," Pominville said. "I mean this is a big game and I'm definitely excited that we came up with two points but, again, tomorrow, we have another big test."

Scottie Upshall and Steve Downie scored for Philadelphia, which lost in regulation for the first time in five games.

                    + Click for larger photo
 

The injury-depleted Flyers were without star center Daniel Briere, who missed his first game this season with a sprained right shoulder. Briere was injured in a shootout loss to the Rangers on Sunday. He scored the decisive shootout goal to beat his former team in Buffalo last week and end Philadelphia's 10-game losing skid.

The Flyers already were missing All-Star Mike Richards (hamstring) and two-time 40-goal scorer Simon Gagne (concussion).

After Roy scored his goal following a crisp pass from Afinogenov, Pominville tipped one in to make it 4-2. Afinogenov chased goaltender Martin Biron with his second goal less than five minutes later.

Biron allowed five goals on 18 shots against his former teammates. He's 2-2-1 against Buffalo since he was traded to the Flyers one year ago.

"We know we can play a lot better," Biron said.

Ryan Miller made 19 saves for the Sabres.

Buffalo went up 1-0 just 62 seconds in when Pominville deflected a slap shot by Henrik Tallinder past Biron.

Afinogenov made it 2-0 with a highlight-reel goal midway through the period. Afinogenov got the puck just above Buffalo's blue line, skated down the left wing, went around defenseman Jaroslav Modry and deked Biron with a backhand-forehand move before stuffing the puck between the goalie's legs.

Upshall scored to cut it to 2-1 later in the first period.

Downie's goal off a give-and-go with Sami Kapanen tied it at 2 in the second period.

Notes: Tallinder didn't return after he was checked into the boards by Upshall in the first period. ... Briere wasn't sure when he'd return, though it doesn't appear the injury is too serious. Briere isn't scheduled for any tests on the shoulder. "Right now, I don't know how long it's going to be," said Briere, who signed an eight-year, $52 million contract last summer. "I'm hoping it's short and I can get back in there and help the team again." ... Pominville has at least one point in nine straight games. ... Forwards Mike Knuble and Jeff Carter are the only Flyers to play in every game this season.

scoring summary
1st Period
01:02
BUF
Jason Pominville (21) Tip-in - ASST: Henrik Tallinder (11)
1 - 0 BUF
09:55
BUF
Maxim Afinogenov (8) Backhand shot - ASST: Steve Bernier (12), Henrik Tallinder (12)
2 - 0 BUF
14:34
PHI
Scottie Upshall (11) Wrist shot - ASST: Kimmo Timonen (28), Jeff Carter (20)
2 - 1 BUF
2nd Period
05:51
PHI
Steve Downie (6) Snap shot - ASST: Sami Kapanen (2), Jaroslav Modry (6)
2 - 2 Tie
3rd Period
01:06
BUF
Derek Roy (26) Snap shot - ASST: Maxim Afinogenov (13), Toni Lydman (22)
3 - 2 BUF
01:24
BUF
Jason Pominville (22) Deflected shot - ASST: Nolan Pratt (6), Nathan Paetsch (7)
4 - 2 BUF
05:57
BUF
Maxim Afinogenov (9) Snap shot - ASST: Steve Bernier (13), Adam Mair (8)
5 - 2 BUF
penalty summary
1st Period
07:14
BUF
Drew Stafford  Holding against  R.J. Umberger
11:47
PHI
Jeff Carter  Hooking against  Drew Stafford
14:31
PHI
Scott Hartnell  Cross checking against  Adam Mair
14:31
BUF
Adam Mair  Slashing against  Scott Hartnell
16:16
PHI
Randy Jones  Holding against  Ales Kotalik
19:34
BUF
Patrick Kaleta  Roughing against  Kimmo Timonen
19:34
BUF
Patrick Kaleta  Misconduct (10 min)
19:34
PHI
Scott Hartnell  Roughing against  Ryan Miller
19:34
BUF
Ryan Miller  Roughing against  Scott Hartnell
2nd Period
06:34
PHI
Vinny Prospal  Tripping against  Andrej Sekera
13:58
BUF
Toni Lydman  Hooking against  Scottie Upshall
16:43
PHI
Steve Downie  Slashing against  Nolan Pratt
19:32
PHI
Mike Knuble  Slashing against  Thomas Vanek
19:53
BUF
Jaroslav Spacek  Interference against  Kimmo Timonen
3rd Period
06:46
BUF
Jaroslav Spacek  Interference against  Sami Kapanen
07:56
PHI
Vinny Prospal  Too many men/ice - bench
10:45
BUF
Toni Lydman  Hi-sticking against  Scottie Upshall
13:35
PHI
Jason Smith  Roughing against  Paul Gaustad
13:35
BUF
Paul Gaustad  Roughing against  Jason Smith
goalie stats
Ryan Miller
SA: 21TOI: 59:56
Saves: 19EV: 16 - 18
PIM: 2PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .905SH: 2 - 2
Antero Niittymaki
SA: 3TOI: 14:03
Saves: 3EV: 3 - 3
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: 1.000SH: 0 - 0
Martin Biron
SA: 18TOI: 45:57
Saves: 13EV: 10 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .722SH: 0 - 0