(Philadelphia, PA, November 11, 2006) – Daniel Briere
scored a late goal in regulation and then tallied another on the power play in overtime as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center on Saturday night, 5-4.
Trailing 3-1 in the second period, Philadelphia battled back to tie the game early in the third.
First, defenseman Alexandre Picard found the back of the net during a four-on-four situation. Picard took the pass from Petr Nedved just inside the blue line and fired a shot through a screen past Sabres goaltender Martin Biron at 15:46 of the second.
Just 20 seconds into the third period, R.J. Umberger took a nice backhanded feed from Ben Eager in the high slot and fired a wrist shot through the legs of Biron to make it a 3-3 game.
Randy Robitaille tallied his second of the contest to give Philadelphia the lead. Geoff Sanderson kept the puck in the zone by stopping it out of mid-air and poked it ahead to Kyle Calder. Calder found Robitaille charging the net for a tip-in for his second goal of the game at 11:29.
"To score four goals on a team like Buffalo when we have had a tough time scoring all year, I think that is a credit to the guys and implementation of the plan and staying in it for 60 minutes," said John Stevens. "That was, in my opinion, the kind of work ethic that we need from our hockey team from start to finish."
The lead did not last, however, after Daniel Briere
found the rebound of a shot by Brian Campbell with 2:59 left in regulation after a failed clearing attempt by Flyers defenseman Mike Rathje.
A too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty to the Flyers resulted in a power play late in regulation for the Sabres that carried into overtime. Briere won the game for Buffalo just 21 seconds after the face off with his slap shot found open space on the near side of Antero Niittymaki.
"We did a great job and had a lot of energy," said Nedved, who finished the night with three assists. "I thought the whole team played really well, I thought we deserved a better fate but I guess when you are on a losing streak you just can't find a way to win. The positive thing is we all worked extremely hard and we have to build on that."
Buffalo was 1-4 with the man advantage while the Flyers had just one power play the entire night. They scored on it with Robitaille's first goal of the game.
Philadelphia had a great chance to take a 5-3 lead before the tying goal, but Biron stopped Calder on a three-on-one rush. Calder, who was acquired over the summer by the Flyers, is still searching for his first goal of the season.
Next, Philadelphia begins a four-game road swing on Monday in Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m., Versus, 610 WIP). The trip also takes the team to Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose before the next home game on Monday, November 20 against the Penguins.
The Flyers came out strong in taking the lead. After they killed off a two-man advantage for nearly two minutes, Philadelphia went on a power play of its own. Joni Pitkanen flipped the puck on net and it deflected to the stick of Robitaille, who lifted it in at 6:55.
Robitaille returned to the lineup after missing the last three games with a sprained left knee and ankle.
Buffalo tied the game on a goal by Paul Gaustad, who knocked in a pass from Thomas Vanek at 13:42.
A couple more Buffalo goals made it 3-1 in the second period. First, Jason Pominville took advantage of a turnover in the Flyers' defensive zone and fired a wrist shot past Niittymaki just 100 seconds into the frame for an unassisted tally. A bad-angle shot by Drew Stafford at 7:58 snuck through the Flyers' goaltender to give Buffalo a two-goal cushion.
"If we had a few bounces here or there… I know it sounds like a broken record but it was definitely true tonight," said Mike Richards. "When we got down we scored a couple and I think that shows the character of the team."FLYERS NOTES
Peter Forsberg missed the game with a mild right ankle sprain. He will also miss Monday's game in Pittsburgh. … The goals by Picard and Stafford were both the first in their NHL careers. … Denis Gauthier missed the game with a left shoulder injury.