Game Recap

Flyers rally from three-goal deficit to beat Sabres 5-4

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

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Flyers rally from three-goal deficit to beat Sabres 5-4
Philadelphia Flyers 5, Buffalo Sabres 4
Three Stars of the Game
Claude Giroux
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 3Hits: 2
PTS: 4PIM: 0
+/-: 3TOI: 23:05
Zack Kassian
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 2
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: -1TOI: 15:36
Drew Stafford
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 18:40
The Philadelphia Flyers can rally from big deficits no matter which side of the country they're on.

Five days after overcoming a 3-0 deficit for a 4-3 win at Anaheim, the Flyers rallied from another three-goal hole for a 5-4 overtime victory in Buffalo on Wednesday night. Claude Giroux's breakaway goal 2:27 into OT gave Philadelphia its third consecutive victory.

"That's the type of team we are, we don't quit," said Giroux, who also scored the OT winner in Anaheim. "We have a lot of character, and we're having a lot of fun here. The second period we played our game, and the third period, too."

The Flyers trailed 3-0 when Thomas Vanek scored with 22.5 seconds left in the third period. But Max Talbot beat Ryan Miller at 19:59 to start the comeback, and the Flyers got goals by Matt Read, Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr in the second to go ahead 4-3.

"It's something you don't want to do, get behind three goals, because sooner or later it's going to come back and become a bad loss," Hartnell said. "But there was lots of hockey left, and we kept going. As the game went on, we got stronger and stronger."

Jagr's snap shot past Ryan Miller at 17:43 of the middle period gave the Flyers their first lead, but the Sabres tied it with 1:35 left in regulation when Drew Stafford raced to the crease and snapped home Marc-Andre Gragnani's passout for his fifth of the season.

However, Gragnani made the key mistake in overtime when he tried to make a pass from the left half-wall to defense partner Christian Ehrhoff at the right point. Giroux picked off the pass and went coast-to-coast before deking and beating Miller with a short wrist shot.

"I'll take the blame for that," Gragnani said. "If I saw him, I wouldn't try that pass."

Giroux, who set assisted on all three second-period goals for a four-point night, moved into the NHL scoring lead with 37 points.

The Sabres, who've struggled after a good start to the season, were upset with themselves after seeing a three-goal lead produce only one point. They fell to 14-11-2 and have lost three of four -- with all three losses at home.

"We basically gave them all their chances, making east-west plays, and they capitalized on that," Stafford said. "We had the lead, we had the kind of start we talked about -- coming out strong, sticking up for teammates.

"It's not acceptable. We battled back and got the point, but we should have had two."

The Flyers improved to 16-7-1, including an NHL-best 10-3-1 away from home as they host Pittsburgh on Thursday. The winner goes home with the Atlantic Division lead.

"We don't ever seem to back off, or say, 'Not tonight," coach Peter Laviolette said. "Guys keep fighting for it, which is impressive."

The game started as well as the Sabres could have wanted.

Buffalo went ahead 10:16 into the game on a goal by ex-Flyer Ville Leino, who had nothing but net to shoot at after Luke Adam stripped Brayden Coburn near his own blue like and fed Zach Kassian for a quick 2-on-1. Kassian could have shot, but instead dropped the puck into the slot for a put-away by Leino.

It became 2-0 at 18:55 on a tremendous individual effort by Kassian, who controlled the puck along the right boards in the neutral zone, carried over the blue line and used defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon as a screen before zipping a 35-footer past Ilya Bryzgalov.

Vanek's power-play goal from the left circle dribbled through Bryzgalov for a 3-0 lead. But with the period running out, Buffalo's Nathan Gerbe overskated the puck in his own zone, and Jakub Voracek set up Talbot for a quick one-timer an instant before the period ended.

"That goal was huge," Giroux said. "It gave us a little momentum, a little life, and in the second period we played our game."

Miller suffered a cut near his right eye 2:02 into the second period when teammate Brayden McNabb fell on him as he tried to get back into his crease. The goaltender's mask came off Miller's mask came off and he was hit near the eye by Hartnell's shot during a scramble. After some medical attention, Miller stayed in the game.

But he couldn't hold off the energized Flyers, who made it 3-2 at 5:17 of the second period when Read deflected Kimmo Timonen's slap shot from the left point past Miller. Hartnell tied it at 14:45 when he took Giroux's feed and fired a wrister from the right faceoff dot that hit Ehrhoff's skate and went past Miller. Jagr's wrister from the top of the left circle put Philadelphia ahead.

Material from team and national media was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
PPG - Ville Leino (3) ASST: Zack Kassian (2), Luke Adam (10)
1 - 0 BUF
Zack Kassian (3) ASST: Andrej Sekera (5)
2 - 0 BUF
PPG - Thomas Vanek (13) ASST: Jason Pominville (19), Derek Roy (12)
3 - 0 BUF
Max Talbot (7) ASST: Jakub Voracek (13)
3 - 1 BUF
2nd Period
Matt Read (11) ASST: Kimmo Timonen (18), Claude Giroux (18)
3 - 2 BUF
Scott Hartnell (12) ASST: Claude Giroux (19)
3 - 3 Tie
Jaromir Jagr (9) ASST: Claude Giroux (20)
4 - 3 PHI
3rd Period
Drew Stafford (5) ASST: Jason Pominville (20), Marc-Andre Gragnani (8)
4 - 4 Tie
OT Period
Claude Giroux (16) ASST: NONE
5 - 4 PHI
Power Play Stats
Power Plays0/12/4
Power Play %16.9%19.7%
% on Road17.6%16.7%
% at Home16.2%21.3%
League Rank22nd14th
penalty summary
1st Period
Kimmo Timonen  Hooking against  Zack Kassian
Zac Rinaldo  Holding the stick against  Drew Stafford
Joe Finley  Roughing against  Zac Rinaldo
Andrej Meszaros  Tripping against  Tyler Ennis
Corey Tropp  Fighting (maj) against  Zac Rinaldo
Zac Rinaldo  Fighting (maj) against  Corey Tropp
2nd Period
Matt Ellis  Instigator - Misconduct
Matt Ellis  Instigator against  Marc-Andre Bourdon
Marc-Andre Bourdon  Boarding against  Nathan Gerbe
Matt Ellis  Fighting (maj) against  Marc-Andre Bourdon
Marc-Andre Bourdon  Fighting (maj) against  Matt Ellis
James van Riemsdyk  Holding against  Andrej Sekera
3rd Period
OT Period
goalie stats
Ilya Bryzgalov
SA: 24TOI: 62:37
Saves: 20EV: 18 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 3
SV%: .833SH: 1 - 1
Ryan Miller
SA: 34TOI: 62:21
Saves: 29EV: 25 - 30
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .853SH: 0 - 0