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POSTGAME 5: Sabre Rattling

by Brian Smith | PhiladelphiaFlyers.com / Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers exploded for four goals in the second period and skated to a 5-1 win over the Sabres. R.J. Umberger snapped a 13-month goal drought with the first tally of the game 1:23 into the second period, which started a rush of three goals in just over eight minutes. Brayden Schenn scored less than a minute later, and Wayne Simmonds put one home 8:11 into the frame. Michael Raffl then made it 4-1 with 4:03 to play. Halfway through the third period, Jamie McGinn got the Sabres on the board, but it was the only one of 42 shots they were able to get by Steve Mason. Nick Cousins scored his first NHL goal 29 seconds after McGinn to wrap up the scoring. Shayne Gostisbehere extended his scoring streak to 10 games with an assist on the Simmonds goal, tying a Flyers franchise record. Mason’s 41 saves earned the win, while Robin Lehner stopped 23 in the loss.

The Flyers would likely have had momentum anyway after they successfully killed their third penalty in the opening minutes of the second period, but there probably could not be a more uplifting goal to the team than the one scored by R.J. Umberger five seconds after that penalty ended. Umberger unloaded a 50-game weight off his back, as that’s how long it had been since his last goal in January of 2015. The goal seemed to lift the weight of the last three games off the Flyers as well, as it opened the second-period floodgates for the team’s first four-goal frame of the season.

1st – R.J. Umberger: Notched his first goal since January 27, 2015, snapping a 50-game drought.

2nd – Michael Raffl: Assisted on Brayden Schenn’s second-period goal and scored a breakaway goal of his own.

3rd – Nick Cousins: Earned his first NHL goal, breaking away from a Sabres defender and scoring five-hole.

Gostisbehere extended his scoring streak to 10 games with an assist on Wayne Simmonds’s second-period goal. The streak ties the Flyers franchise record for a scoring streak by a rookie, matching a 10-game streak posted by Mikael Renberg in the 1993-94 season… Cousins and Raffl each had a goal and an assist, and were plus-3… Umberger’s goal was his first since Jan. 27, 2015 vs. Arizona… Claude Giroux did not register a shot attempt in the game for only the second time this season. The Flyers have won both games when that happened; the other was Nov. 14 at CAR (3-2 OTW)… The Flyers blocked 32 Buffalo shots. It’s the most they’ve blocked in a game since blocking 32 on October 11, 2014 vs. Montreal.

“You always remember your first one. I started pressing next to that guy, I wasn’t even trying to block it, it just sort of hit me and I got the puck and took my open shot. I’ll remember it for a while.”

(Nick Cousins)

“Jake gave me advice today. He said, ‘Go to the net and keep your stick on the ice.’ I said, ‘alright.’ I came back to the bench and he’s like, ‘go to the net and keep your stick on the ice.’ I was like, ‘thanks Jake.’”

(R.J. Umberger)

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