BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Jeremy Roenick tried to put a positive spin on
Philadelphia's tie with Buffalo.
Teammate John LeClair wasn't buying it.
"I think we played very well and it's a step in the right direction,"
Roenick said after the Flyers completed an eight-game road trip Wednesday night
with a 1-1 tie with the Sabres.
The Flyers, coming off a humbling 6-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday, were
2-3-2-1 on the trip, their longest of the season.
"It's a little frustrating for us," said LeClair, who scored
Philadelphia's goal. "A point is good, but we would have liked two."
Martin Biron made a season-high 44 saves and Alexei Zhitnik scored his third
goal of the season for the Sabres, 2-1-2 in their last five.
"Biron played well for them, but we really didn't shoot it well," LeClair
said. "When you get 40 shots you hope to get more than one goal."
Robert Esche made 20 saves for the Atlantic Division-leading Flyers.
"I thought Biron allowed them to stay in the game after the first period,"
Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We did a lot of things right, especially in
our own zone and especially in transition."
Philadelphia, playing its first game in three days, came out strong in the
first period in outshooting Buffalo 17-2, but had nothing to show for it.
The Sabres, meanwhile, have been outshot 37-11 in the opening period in
their last two games, including a 20-9 disadvantage in their loss to Montreal
on Tuesday night.
"In the first period we gave them a lot of shots but they were from the
outside," said Biron, who was making his fifth straight start. "The
difference between last night and tonight was that we played the system."
LeClair opened the scoring with his ninth goal, and first in six games, a
minute into the second. Taking the puck toward the net from the left circle,
LeClair put a shoulder move on Biron before going around the net and jamming
the puck in on a wraparound.
Zhitnik tied it 1:55 later with his second goal in two games. With Donald
Brashear in the penalty box for roughing, Zhitnik took a slap shot from the
right point that beat Esche on the glove side.
Philadelphia has won just three times in its last 14 games.
"It seems to be the way the bounces are going," Roenick said. "We have to
find ways to win these games."
Roenick played a day after needing 26 stitches to close a cut on his cheek
after he was hit by an errant slap shot in practice.
Roenick did not wear a shield to protect the wound.
"It was throbbing and let me know it was there," he said. "But we get
paid a lot of money to do what we do."
The Sabres are 4-2-2 since ending an eight-game winless streak, thanks in
part to Biron.
"Marty has had a pretty good stretch of games together for us, which is
what we needed," Sabres' coach Lindy Ruff said.
Brashear had Philadelphia's best chance in the third on a two-on-one break,
but fired a shot off the crossbar with nine minutes remaining.
"We have to capitalize on scoring opportunities," Hitchcock said. "We've
had too many quality opportunities that we haven't taken advantage of."