Through the first six games of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Buffalo Sabres
, two of the areas the Philadelphia Flyers
struggled in were faceoffs and the power play.
In Game 7 on Tuesday, with their season on the line, a pair of faceoff wins led to the Flyers' first two goals and their power play scored on its first two opportunities in their 5-2 victory against the Buffalo Sabres
The Flyers won just 47.2 percent of faceoffs in the first six games, and even though they won just 34 of 71 in Game 7, it was two big ones that turned the tide of the game.
Late in the first period, Claude Giroux
stepped into the circle to the left of Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller
. Facing him was Paul Gaustad
, the Sabres' best option on defensive-zone draws. Knowing what he was facing, Giroux tried to cheat, but was caught and tossed out of the circle. Danny Briere
replaced him and it turned into a fortuitous move for the Flyers.
Briere beat Gaustad clean, drawing the puck between his skates and back to Braydon Coburn
at the right point. Coburn's shot glanced off the glove of Sabres forward Mike Grier
and got past Miller with 18.5 seconds left in the first period of what had been a scoreless game.