|THREE STARS OF THE NIGHT |
|Ennis || |
|Vanek || |
|2G ||1G ||2A |
| || || |
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Flyers had the stirring comeback.
The Sabres will take the win - and the shot at winning the playoff series at home.
Tyler Ennis scored off a rebound 5:31 into overtime Friday night to give Buffalo a 4-3 victory over Flyers and a 3-2 lead in the first-round series.
Mike Webber set up the winner when he fired a slapper that knocked off Michael Leighton's pad. Ennis swooped in from the right side and scored his second goal of the game. The Sabres survived after blowing a 3-0 lead and can advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a victory in Game 6 on Sunday in Buffalo.
"All I know, is I wanted to score the winner," Ennis said. "I just wanted to be the guy who ended it."
Ennis opened the scoring in the first period, and Thomas Vanek and Marc-Andre Gragnani also scored in the period to chase Flyers starting goalie Brian Boucher. Leighton, who led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals a year ago, was flawless until overtime... MORE
At any point in the playoffs a hero is born, and on April 22, in Game 5 at Philadelphia, Tyler Ennis became a postseason hero in the eyes of Sabres fans. Nearing the 14:00 mark of the first overtime session, forward Rob Niedermayer pushed the puck back into the Flyers zone to Brad Boyes, who in turn flipped it Steve Montador on the point. Montador looked left and flung the puck across the blue line to a wide open Mike Weber. Before Philadelphia could react, Weber took a step, wound up and fired a slap shot at goaltender Michael Leighton. Leighton kicked the shot off his left leg pad, giving up a sizeable rebound that found its way directly onto the stick of a streaking Tyler Ennis. In one motion, the 5’9” rookie snared the rebound and potted the game-winning goal to give the Sabres a 4-3 victory and a 3-2 series lead.
had a coming out party in Philadelphia. In the previous four games of this series, the rookie had tallied just 10 shots on goal and collected one assist. Game 5, however, was a different story. Ennis opened the scoring just 2:24 into the first period when he sniped a bad-angle shot past starting goalie Brian Boucher and capped off his night by potting the game-winning goal on Leighton. Finishing with a +2 rating on the night, Ennis had over 18 minutes of ice time and four shots on goal. More importantly, he gained more confidence in his game as he danced around the outside edges of the rink all night, torturing the Flyers, controlling the puck, creating chances and playing the type of game he was comfortable playing.
- Prior to puck drop, a pane of glass in the Buffalo end had to be replaced after it was shattered during warm-ups by a Tyler Myers
I like the fact that we were able to regroup. We started the third really good, I think we out shot them 8, 9 to 2 and we gave up the one opportunity and they end up scoring. But I told the team we need to relax, we need to make plays.” - Head Coach Lindy Ruff on surrendering a three goal lead.
- Bad angle shots set the tone early as the first two Buffalo goals were scored in that fashion. Tyler Ennis
scored at 2:24 of the first and Thomas Vanek
scored at 3:51.
- Defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani scored his first career playoff goal on a 4-on-3 power play, giving him five points (1-4-5) in the series to lead the Sabres in scoring during the postseason.
- After giving up three first period goals, Michael Leighton came in to relieve starting goalie Brian Boucher. The Flyers are the first team this year to use thee goalies in a series after Boucher replaced Sergei Bobrovsky in the second game of the quarterfinals.
- After digging a puck out of the corner, forward Jason Pominville
took a couple of strides and proceeded to hop off the ice near the end of the first period. He did not return to the game. Head coach Lindy Ruff commented during his postgame press conference that Pominville will be evaluated further on Saturday.
- Ryan Miller
, who posted a shutout in Game 4, saw his shutout streak end after 91:28. James Van Riemsdyk scored at 8:12 of the second period.
- Buffalo produced only five shots in the second period but did manage to kill off all three minor penalties it was assessed.
- Tyler Ennis
grabbed his second playoff goal and first playoff game winner when he scored at 5:31 of the first overtime session.
- Blueliner Mike Weber
picked up his first playoff point when he assisted on Tyler Ennis
’ game-winning goal.
- Tyler Myers
led all Sabre players with 27:48 of ice time. He finished the game with an assist and a -1 rating.
- Defensemen Shaone Morrisonn (upper body) and Andrej Sekera
(upper body) continued to be scratched for Buffalo. Sekera and forward Jochen Hecht
did participate in the morning skate but did not dress for the game.
- Defensemen Dennis Persson
, forward Mark Mancari and goaltender Patrick Lalime were all healthy scratches for the Sabres..
With a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, the Sabres return home to HSBC Arena for a 3 p.m. match-up with the Flyers on Sunday. Buffalo can close out the series with a win in front of what is expected to be a sell out crowd along in addition to fans who will pack the Party in the Plaza. The game will be televised nationally on NBC.