HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
A very late comeback attempt and wild finish weren't enough as the Sabres doubled up the Flyers, 4-2, in Buffalo on Friday night.
The teams battled to a scoreless tie through 40 minutes, but the offense opened up with six goals in the third period kicked off by Ryan O'Reilly, who fired a sharp angle shot that beat Brian Elliott at 16:01. The Sabres piled on with a deflection by Evander Kane to make it 2-0, but Michael Raffl brought the Flyers within one on the power play with 2:10 left.
Jack Eichel scored an empty-net goal to make it 3-1, but Shayne Gostisbehere struck back quickly to make it 3-2 before Eichel added his second empty-netter to seal it for Buffalo.
Robin Lehner stopped 33 of 35 shots for the win, while Elliott also allowed just two goals, stopping 33 of 35 shots, in the loss.
The Sabres second goal put the Flyers behind just enough to make the comeback that much more difficult... The goal was a result of Ryan O'Reilly winning a battle down low, getting it to Kyle Okposo who fed Josh Gorges at the point. Gorges blasted a shot just inside the blueline that Kane got a piece of and eventually found itself in the back of the net. The Flyers would later convert on the power play, but instead of being tied at 1-1, they were behind and forced to pull the goaltender.
1. Evander Kane: Posted a goal and an assist for his seventh multi-point game of the year and recorded a game-high seven shots on net.
2. Robin Lehner: His 33-save effort ended the Sabres' three-game losing skid. He now has eight of Buffalo's nine wins on the year.
3. Brian Elliott: Appeared in his 400th game in the NHL, stopped 33 of 35 shots, including all 28 he faced in the first and second period.
STATS & STORYLINES
Playing in his 400th NHL Game, Brian Elliott was the backbone for the team in this one, especially through the first 40 minutes where he stopped a total of 28 shots, including 16 in the opening frame.Video: PHI@BUF: Elliott spins for pad save on Scandella
He faced an key test early on as Robert Hagg hooked Evander Kane on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot four minutes into the game... Kane tried going high-glove but Elliott was up to the task.
He then kept the Sabres off the scoreboard in the first and second period after several scrums, one of which came with 13 minutes left in the second. Elliott faced a pair of point-blank saves which included a shot from the doorstep and a one-timer from inside the hash marks that he made a kick save on.
In total, he stopped 33 of 35 shots in his 10th consecutive start - in seven of those starts he has allowed two goals or less.
SCORELESS AFTER 40
This was just the third time all season that the Flyers played the first two periods to a scoreless tie, and the first time in a road game (Oct. 19 vs. NSH & Nov. 11 vs. MIN)... In the two previous occasions the Flyers lost the game, both by way of a shutout.
VORACEK HIM OUT
Jakub Voracek recorded two assists in tonight's game for his 35th and 36th helpers, which now retakes the lead in the NHL assist department... He also has 15 multi-point games, which is tied for second among all players... The two assists also extend his point streak to five straight games, which ties his season high... In that stretch, he has one goal and six assists for seven points.
G & G
Claude Giroux posted his second straight multi-point night with a pair of helpers... He has five points, all assists, in his last two games and now has a four-game point streak... Shayne Gostisbehere also extended his scoring streak to four games with his goal... He has three goals and five points during his streak.
A quick turnaround sees the Flyers play their final game before the three-day holiday break when they travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena (7 p.m. on NBCSP & 97.5 The Fanatic).
5. THEY SAID ITVideo: Giroux on 4-2 loss in BuffaloVideo: Hakstol on 4-2 loss in Buffalo