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game recap

Elliott makes 34 saves for Flyers in win against Sabres

Philadelphia gets 14th victory in past 18 games

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Sanheim cashes in from the slot

BUF@PHI: Sanheim finds twine on the rush

Travis Sanheim joins the rush and beats Carter Hutton after receiving a pass from Sean Couturier, who picked up his 200th career assist

  • 00:55 •

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers won for the 14th time in 18 games, 5-2 against the Buffalo Sabres at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday.

Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist for Philadelphia (30-26-7), which has won four of its past six games and is 14-3-1 in its past 18. Brian Elliott made 34 saves to win his second straight start.

The Flyers are seven points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

 

[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Flyers highlights]

 

It was Philadelphia's first game since a 4-3 overtime win against Pittsburgh in the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series on Saturday.

"That was a big win for us Saturday night," said Elliott, who made 40 saves against the Penguins in his first start since sustaining a lower-body injury Nov. 15. "With the spectacle of the game, we know that this game is just as important. We came out and scored a couple quick ones, and I think that set the tone for the game. We went from there."

Jack Eichel and Casey Mittelstadt scored for Buffalo (29-26-8), which was coming of a 5-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday and is 1-5-1 in its past seven games. Carter Hutton made 40 saves.

The Sabres are eight points behind the Penguins.

"I think it's just disappointing because it's a game of mistakes, and right now we're making more mistakes than the other team," Buffalo coach Phil Housley said.

Elliott was eased back from his injury, playing two games during a conditioning stint with Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League, and then relieving Carter Hart in games against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 19 and the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 21. He allowed three goals on 54 shots in the two relief appearances.

Video: BUF@PHI: Elliott stretches across, stones Skinner

"I feel good enough," he said. "Getting a couple wins definitely helps. If you're not winning those, you're probably not feeling as good about your game, things like that. We've had some goal support these last couple ones for me. That helps."

Flyers coach Scott Gordon said of Elliott: "He went down to Lehigh and he played two games, and I think that was important because he got a lot of the rust off. The way he came back in, playing against Montreal and Tampa Bay, also was probably good for him. He's been real sharp. He's made the big saves when we've needed them."

Oskar Lindblom gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead 2:48 into the first period, and Jakub Voracek made it 2-0 at 7:52 when he scored on his own rebound. Rookie defenseman Philippe Myers had an assist on Voracek's goal for his first NHL point.

Video: BUF@PHI: Voracek bangs in own rebound on doorstep

Eichel made it 2-1 with a power-play goal at 12:08. He has four goals and four assists during a six-game point streak.

James van Riemsdyk put the Flyers ahead 3-1 when he redirected Robert Hagg's point shot at 15:13 of the second period.

Mittelstadt one-timed Evan Rodrigues' centering pass to cut it to 3-2 at 17:53. It was his second goal in 13 games and came after his missed the game Monday.

Video: BUF@PHI: Mittelstadt shovels in feed from Rodrigues

"It might've taken a few (shifts) to get going, but you have to be able to get back into it quick," Mittelstadt said. "It's a big game, there's no excuses."

Travis Sanheim made it 4-2 46 seconds into the third period, and Giroux scored into an empty net with 2:55 remaining for the 5-2 final.

 

They said it

"We weren't ready to go at all. We weren't ready to go to start the game, for sure. You go down 2-0 that quick, we weren't ready to go." -- Sabres captain Jack Eichel

"It kind of put me into the game a little bit and it got me ready. Anytime you can get your adrenaline going a little a bit, it always helps when you might have a little nerves." -- Flyers forward Ryan Hartman, who had a hit on his first shift in his first game since being acquired in trade from the Nashville Predators on Monday

 

Need to know

Sabres rookie defenseman Rasmus Dahlin had an assist on Eichel's goal and has two goals and three assists during a four-game point streak. ... Buffalo defenseman Brandon Montour was minus-1 with three shots on goal in 18:11 in his first game since being acquired in a trade from the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. ... Hartman had four shots on goal and four hits in 14:12. ... Couturier got his 200th NHL assist on Sanheim's goal. ... Giroux's goal was his 233rd, moving him past Mark Recchi and Rick Tocchet for 11th in Flyers history.

 

What's next

Sabres: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday (7 p.m. ET; SN, MSG-B, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Flyers: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, NBCSP, NHL.TV)

Video: Balanced offense powers Flyers past Sabres, 5-2

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