|THREE STARS OF THE NIGHT |
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|1G, 1A ||1G ||1G |
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - In a series that went the distance, Brian Boucher did the same in Game 7.
Backed by a burst of early goals, Boucher gets another round to prove he's the goalie who can lead the Flyers to their first Stanley Cup championship since 1975.
Boucher stopped 26 shots and Philadelphia advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres in Game 7 of their first-round series on Tuesday night.
"There's going to be days when things don't go your way," Boucher said, "But you have to play through it."
No one did it quite like Boucher.
He was the Game 1 backup, won Games 2 and 6 in relief, and, when swapping goalies became the flavor of the series, was the last winner standing.
"I've had to deal with adversity a lot in my career, and somehow, I keep sticking around," he said. "I always try to say, even when things are down, that these things find a way to work themselves out. And in this series, it did."... MORE
The Flyers had dominated most of the first period in Game 7, outshooting the Sabres by a 16-2 margin. Buffalo was nearly able to escape the onslaught and go to the dressing room locked in a scoreless tie after 20 minutes, but the Flyers found a crack with just 18.5 seconds left in the frame. Danny Briere won an offensive zone face-off in the right circle and drew it back to defenseman Braydon Coburn at the blue line. Coburn took a few strides toward the center of the ice and fired a low wrist shot from the point. The puck deflected off a body on its way to the net to change direction ever so slightly, and the shot found its way past Ryan Miller, giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission and changing the complexion of the game. The goal was Coburn’s first of the postseason.
Danny Briere was a difference maker for the Flyers throughout the series, and Game 7 was no exception. The former Sabre continued to produce, recording a goal and an assist in the decisive game of the series. Briere finished the series as Philadelphia’s second leading scorer with six goals and an assist. Only Claude Giroux (1-8-9) had more points. In Game 7, Briere assisted on the first goal of the game by winning a key face-off in the Buffalo zone (see play of the game). He then extended Philadelphia’s lead to 2-0 less than five minutes into the second period when he tapped in a rebound on a power play for his series-high sixth goal of the playoffs.
- Buffalo was playing in its first Game 7 since the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals at Carolina. The franchise’s only win in a Game 7 remains the 1997 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal victory in Game 7 versus Ottawa.
Our chance was in Game 6. We had it and we didn’t take advantage of some of the situations that could have put the team away like they put us away tonight… that’s the disappointing part.” - Head Coach Lindy Ruff
- Derek Roy
saw his first game action since Dec. 23 when he suffered a torn quad tendon in a game against Florida. Roy had registered a team-leading 35 points in 35 games at the time of his injury. In Game 7, Roy recorded an assist, won 10-of-18 face-offs and blocked a shot in 20 minutes of ice time.
- Jochen Hecht
also returned for Game 7 from an injury that had kept him sidelined since Mar. 29. Like Roy, Hecht picked up an assist and won 10-of-15 face-off attempts.
- Aside from Game 2, which Philadelphia won 4-2 and scored an empty-net goal in the final seconds, this was the only game in the series decided by more than one goal.
- This series marked the first time in nine all-time playoff series between the Sabres and Flyers that the winner of Game 1 did not go on to win the series. Buffalo won the opening game by a score of 1-0 back on April 14.
These chances don’t come around as often as you think. You have to take advantage. What hurts the most is we had our chance. We had a lead in the third period in our building. We couldn’t get it done and that was the series. - Goaltender Ryan Miller
- Marc-Andre Gragnani finished as Buffalo’s leading scorer in the playoffs after spending most of the regular season in Portland, where he was named the AHL’s Outstanding Defenseman. Gragnani set the Sabres rookie record for assists by a defenseman in one playoff series with six. His six helpers were one short of the club record for assists in a single series, a record that is shared by Gilbert Perreault (1972, 1982, 1983), Dale Hawerchuk (1994) and Miroslav Satan. Gragnani also scored a goal in the series to finish with seven postseason points.
- Tyler Myers
recorded a goal and an assist, giving him six points (1-5-6) in the series. Five of those points came in the last two games, as he collected three assists in Game 6.
- Brad Boyes
notched his first goal of the series in the third period.
- Ryan Miller
was replaced by Jhonas Enroth
after allowing the fourth Flyers goal at 1:59 of the third period. Miller finished with 24 saves on 28 shots, while Enroth turned aside seven of the eight shots he faced.
- Jordan Leopold
was a game-time decision because he was sick, and ended up logging 24:22 of ice time, blocked five shots and distributed three hits.
I’m proud of every guy in this locker room. We’re a tight-knit group in here and it’s tough to take the sweater off at the end of the season. It’s tough right now. We have a lot of good guys in this locker room and I’m proud of everybody for what we accomplished, but it’s too little for us.” - Forward Paul Gaustad
- Thomas Vanek
finished the playoffs with a team-leading five goals, four of which came on the power play. His four power play goals were one shy of Pat LaFontaine’s team record of five power play goals scored in one playoff series, set in 1992 versus Boston.
- Brian Boucher started in goal for the Flyers, who used three different starting netminders in the series (Sergei Bobrovsky, Michael Leighton). In his fourth start of the series, Boucher recorded 26 saves on 28 shots to earn the win.
- Andrej Sekera
played for just the second time in this series due to an injury.
- Jason Pominville
missed his second game of the series. After the game, Ruff revealed that Pominivlle had suffered a cut tendon and underwent surgery. Ruff said it was a four to six month recovery time.
- Tim Connolly missed his first due to injury. The nature of the injury was not disclosed, but Ruff referenced a six-week recovery timeframe during his postgame press conference.
- Shaone Morrisonn did not play due to an undisclosed injury for the sixth straight game. Patrick Kaleta
was also out of the lineup in Game 7.
- Defenseman Steve Montador, forward Matt Ellis
and goaltender Patrick Lalime were Buffalo’s healthy scratches.
- Defenseman Nick Boynton, forwards Jeff Carter, Jody Shelley, Andreas Nodl and Zac Rinaldo and goaltender Michael Leighton were scratched for the Flyers.
The loss ends Buffalo’s 2010-11 campaign, a season that saw a second-half surge by the team to make the playoffs as well as a change in ownership on February 22 when Terry Pegula purchased the team. From that date on, the Sabres went 16-4-4 in the final 24 games of the regular season and clinched a playoff spot in the 81st game of the season.