Tonight in Buffalo certainly had a bit of Déjà vu going on.
The Sabres came out blazing with three first period goals including two with under a minute and a half remaining in the period.
You would think that would deflate the Flyers especially on the road. But it didn’t. Not much does with a league-best 10-3-1 road record.
Max Talbot kicked off the Flyers comeback in a rather unusual fashion. His goal with 1.1 seconds left in the first period after a Buffalo breakdown in their own end gave the Flyers life heading into the second period.
And that’s exactly what the second period was to the Flyers, who didn’t allow a shot on goal through the first eight minutes, while scoring twice to knot the score at 3-3.
The Sabres, who are just 6-8-2 at the First Niagara Center and 1-4-2 in their last seven, watched as Jaromir Jagr danced through the neutral zone and put the Flyers up by a score of 4-3.
Weird. Just five days earlier in Anaheim, the Flyers rattled off four unanswered goals for a wild comeback win against the Ducks... in overtime.
The third period wasn’t without drama however. Sabres forward Drew Stafford tied the game up with 1:35 left in the third period to force overtime and set the stage for Claude Giroux’s heroics.
Giroux forced a turnover and went in on Miller all alone to give the Flyers their third straight road win and second overtime thrilling win.
Oh and that other overtime victory in Anaheim in which the team battled back from a 3-0 deficit to win, the game-winner was provided by none other than Claude Giroux. Only this time he doesn’t have to share the NHL’s point lead like he did in Phoenix. After this goal he gained sole possession of it.
Tonight’s game marks the second time in the last week that the Flyers have come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a game.
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the third time in team history that the Flyers have accomplished that twice in a single season, it is the quickest they have done so, and it is the first time they have done it with both games coming on the road.
Tonight was Claude Giroux’s second four-point game of the season and third of his career. He is now in sole possession of the NHL scoring lead with 16 goals and 20 assists for 36 points, one point ahead of Toronto’s Phil Kessel.
Giroux joins Jack Johnson of the Kings as the only two players in the league this season to have posted two overtime goals. He scored the overtime winner both tonight and last Friday vs. Anaheim.
Additionally, Giroux’s goal at Phoenix on Saturday was the game-winner, giving him the game-winning goal in three consecutive games. He now has five GWG on the season, which ties him with Detroit’s Johan Franzen for the league lead.
Before he even posted the game-winning-goal in overtime, Giroux recorded three assists on the Flyers’ second, third and fourth goals of the evening.
Then overtime came and the team’s leading scorer became the NHL’s leading scorer.
Giroux went in on what seemed like a breakaway that lasted forever and faked a shot to the aggressive Miller coming out of his net. He deked to Miller's left glove side and fired a shot through his five-hole to seal the win for the Flyers.
"That's the type of team we are, we don't quit. 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." - Claude Giroux
"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, but there was lots of hockey left, and we kept going. As the game went on, we got stronger and stronger." - Scott Hartnell
"Zac was trying to get out there a couple times. I think he wanted to insert some energy into the game, and it was just great." - Peter Laviolette on Zac Rinaldo
The turning point came within 1.1 seconds of not happening for the Flyers in tonight’s 5-4 overtime win.
Forcing a turnover at the blueline, right wing Jakub Voracek grabbed the puck and instead of trying to get off a last minute shot, found a wide-open Max Talbot by the side of the net who directed it past Ryan Miller.
The goal gave the Flyers momentum to build off of heading into the second period and was the first of four-straight goals by period’s end.
The goal however wasn’t the only turning point that occurred at the 19:59 mark of the first. A fight between Zac Rinaldo and Corey Tropp after the ensuing faceoff was an old fashioned let’em fly tilt that sent the message that the Flyers weren’t resting on just one goal.
PIC OF THE NIGHT: Claude Giroux celebrates his game-winning-goal.
Flyers 5, Sabres 4 in OT Associated Press
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Claude Giroux scored 2:27 into overtime for the Philadelphia Flyers, who overcame a three-goal, first-period deficit and beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 on Wednesday night.