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POSTGAME 5: Skewered Sabres

Flyers dominate Sabres in 6-1 rout on Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

Every team can use an occasional blowout win where they can roll their lines and not have to sweat the final outcome - the Flyers had just such a night as they mauled the Buffalo Sabres, 6-1, at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night.

Mikhail Vorobyev, James van Riemsdyk and Matt Niskanen struck in the first period to build a quick 3-0 lead for the Flyers. In a lopsided second period, Ivan Provorov, Tyler Pitlick, and van Riemsdyk doubled the Flyers lead to 6-0.

Victor Olofsson broke up the Flyers shut out bid with a tricky deflection of a Rasmus Dahlin shot.

Carter Hart didn't see many shots, but came up big as needed. He stopped 14 of 15 shots, getting beaten only on a double deflection. Carter Hutton was shaky at times for Buffalo, but also victimized by deflected pucks and Flyers forwards have almost free reign to go to the net. He stopped 22 of 26 shots.

Three Stars:
1st: James van Riemsdyk (2g)
2nd: Travis Konecny (3a)
3rd: Kevin Hayes (2a)

The Flyers pretty much dominated the game. But Ralph Krueger's ill-advised challenge of the Flyers' second goal resulted in a Flyers' power play goal and put the game well on the way to a blowout.Video: BUF@PHI: van Riemsdyk nets second on power play

* The first period was the "Kevin Hayes Show" as the Flyers center's hustle stood out in every manpower situation and his playmaking skills created goals for James van Riemsdyk and Matt Niskanen. Hart had a couple good saves while not seeing much rubber, especially over the final 15 mins of the frame.

* Philly continued to outwork the Sabres in the second period -- line after line, shift after shift, and tilted the ice in their favor. The Flyers continued to get plenty of puck luck in their favor as well, which figured into several goals. 

* The game through the first 40 minutes could be summed up this way: strong work by the Flyers, and a combination of bad defense, shaky goaltending and bad luck for Buffalo. In the second period, shots were 11-4 Flyers (attempts 21-7 Flyers).Video: BUF@PHI: Pitlick pads lead for Flyers

* In at matchup the NHL's top-ranked (Flyers) and bottom-ranked (Sabres) faceoff teams, the results went as expected. 

* The line of Morgan Frost centering Jakub Voracek and David Kase had a dominant night; creating chance after chance and lots of offensive zone possession. They were unlucky on score sheet: the one Philly line that couldn't get a bounce at just the right time or missed a goal by inches.

* The Flyers extended their winning streak over the Sabres at home to six straight AND they have now recorded at least a point in their last 13 home games against the Sabres, going 11-0-3.

* Carter Hart won his sixth straight home game, posting a .952 save percentage and 1.34 GAA... He also ran his home record to 10-1-2 with a .944 save percentage and 1.53 GAA.

* James van Riemsdyk had a pair of goals, giving him four goals in his last four games and five goals and eight points in eight games in December.

* Matt Niskanen posted a goal and an assist tonight for his third multi-point game... Kevin Hayes recorded two assists tonight giving him four points in his last three games.Video: BUF@PHI: Niskanen scores PPG off sweet Hayes pass

* The Flyers won their 12th home game of the season on Dec. 19 ... They did not win their 12th home game until Feb. 2 last season.

* Buffalo Sabres superstar center Jack Eichel, who ranked fifth in the entire NHL with 50 points, was a late scratch after warmups due to an upper body injury.

* The Flyers travel to Ottawa to close out the season series against the Senators on Saturday. Puck drop is 7 p.m. on NBCSP+ & 93.3 WMMR.

Video: Hear from Flyers coach following win over BUFVideo: Hear from Pitlick, van Riemsdyk and Hart after win

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