1. THAT LOCKS IT UP With tonight’s win coupled with Pittsburgh’s win over the New York Rangers, the Flyers secured the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and will face the fourth-seeded Penguins in the first round. The Flyers also ended the Buffalo Sabres postseason bid tonight with their victory, combined with the Washington Capitals win over the Florida Panthers.
2. ANOTHER COMEBACK The Flyers yet again came storming back to earn the victory. After allowing the first goal to ex-Flyer Ville Leino who was parked in the crease and forced in a rebound, the Flyers got two third period goals to win their 20th game when allowing the opponents first goal and 25th victory in one-goal games this season.
3. BRYZ BACK After allowing five goals in a loss to the Rangers after returning from injury, Ilya Bryzgalov was once again back on his game tonight. He stopped 25 of 26 shots overall and all 10 he faced in the third period to earn his 33rd win of the season. His most notable saves came on a great 2 on 1 chance by Sekera and another point-blank shot by Nathan Gerbe in the third period.
4. ROOKIE FACTOR The Flyers received both goals from rookies tonight, who have now combined for 63 goals and 126 points on the season for the Flyers… Read's goal was his 24th of the season and sixth game-winning goal, both of which leads all rookies in the NHL. Rookie defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon combined for two points with a goal and an assist.
5. LAVY'S TAKE Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette liked the way his team came out of the gates tonight…
“There wasn’t a lot of room out there tonight, especially early on. The first period was pretty tight checking. I thought we did a good job defensively of making sure we didn’t give up a whole lot. We came out in the third period and I thought really cranked it up after about the five minute mark.”
The Flyers won all four games over Buffalo this year, giving them their fifth season sweep over the Sabres and first since 2008-09.
Claude Giroux recorded his 93rd point of the season tonight, matching Eric Lindros for the most by a Flyer since Lindros had 93 in the 1998-99 season. John LeClair had the most recent higher-scoring season before that when he had 97 points in the 1996-97 season.
The Flyers won for just the fifth time this season when trailing after two periods of play. They are now 5-20-2 in that situation.
This was also Buffalo’s first regulation loss of the season when leading after two periods; they were 25-0-2 when leading after two this year.
The Flyers are now 20-21-4 when the opponent scores first. That’s the most wins in that situation of any team in the league.
The Flyers will try to set a new franchise record for road wins in a season when they go for their 26th on Saturday in Pittsburgh. Their current record of 25 was set last year.
Matt Read gets tonight's Flyers star for his game-winning goal in the third period.
Read scored on a breakaway with less than five minutes to go in the game which put the Flyers up 2-1.
The goal was Read's 24th of his rookie season and fourth goal in his last seven games.
"Just showing some heart being down one goal, trying to face adversity. We have been good all year. Unfortunately, we are down a goal or two in the first period and we just battle back. We never see the end until we are ahead again." - Matt Read
"I'm intense. I grew up physical. I like to stand up for my teammates. If something's going on out there, I'll be the first guy to jump in." - Wayne Simmonds
Tonight's turning point came with 4:21 left in the third period when Matt Read beat Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller on his second breakaway of the game and gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead.
The play started with a great flip pass out of the Flyers zone by Jakub Voracek. Read took that pass and beat Sabres defenseman Robyn Regehr to spring loose on Ryan Miller.
Coming in from an angle, Read waited until Miller went down and then snuck a shot above his pad but below his glove for the go-ahead goal.
PIC OF THE NIGHT: Matt Read scores the game-winning goal to give the Flyers a 2-1 victory.
Flyers 2, Sabres 1 Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Matt Read and Marc-Andre Bourdon each scored goals to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 2-1 win Thursday night over Buffalo that eliminated the Sabres from a postseason spot.
The Sabres needed to beat the Flyers and have Florida top Washington to keep their faint playoff hopes alive heading into their final game of the season. The Sabres failed to handle the Flyers and the Capitals beat Florida 4-2.