The Philadelphia Flyers earned a weekend road sweep of the Buffalo Sabres. On the heels of a 3-0 victory on Saturday, the Flyers captured another 3-0 win in the rematch on Sunday afternoon.
After a scoreless first period, Sean Couturier (5th goal of the season) got he Flyers on the board on the opening shift of the middle stanza. Shortly thereafter, Michael Raffl (3rd) extended the lead to 2-0. A James van Riemsdyk deflection (10th) built a 3-0 lead as Joel Farabee collected his second assist of the period. There was no further scoring.
Carter Hart recorded a 28-save shutout. Jonas Johansson stopped 35 in a losing cause.
The Flyers have shut out the Sabres in three straight games; twice behind Brian Elliott and now once by Hart.
The Sabres got off to a good start in the first period before the Flyers stabilized things and took control. The quick goals by Couturier and Raffl in the second period were demoralizing to Buffalo.
1) The Sabres came out of the gates with each of the game's first five shots on goal as well as the first power play (a Justin Braun delay of game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass). Having Jack Eichel back after a two-game absence was the biggest difference maker, of course, but Buffalo also came out with more energy than on Saturday.
2) The Flyers pushed back as the first period progressed, with 13 of the next 15 shots. Philly did everything but score on their first power play. The Flyers also dominated the faceoff circle.
3) The second period was dominated by the Flyers. Hart came up big as needed, including a 2-on-1 save on Kyle Okposo. Overall, though, the Sabres spent a lot of time backpeddling and struggling to cope with pressure from Philly. Shots were 21-11 in the Flyers favor.
4) Couturier did a great job battling for every foot of the ice and then potted a Joel Farabee rebound just 22 seconds into the second period. At 1:37, a Raffl redirect of a Robery Hägg shot built a 2-0 lead. Then JVR made a slick backhand deflection look almost easy (it isn't!) at 15:23.
5) Hart had to work at times to protect the lead in the third period. He stopped all nine fired on his net to nail down the shutout.