Instant analysis: Flyers fight back and earn a shootout win over the Sabres

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Tonight the Flyers once again faced off against the Buffalo Sabres in what was their fifth meeting this season. The last two games were both shutouts, one coming from Hart and one from Elliot.

It was Carter Hart who started in the net after being the last one to shut out Buffalo but was replaced in the net by Elliot after the first period. There was also a defensive lineup change as Robert Hagg returned to the third line with Gostisbehere. Gustaffson was consequently moved to the fourth line with Aube-Kubel and Nolan Patrick, with Connor Bunnaman sitting this one out.

A tied score of 4-4 led the Flyers into overtime and eventually a shootout, where the Flyers ultimately took the win 5-4.

Flyers suffer an early setback

It was star James van Riemsdyk who opened the scoring against the slumping Sabres within the first two minutes of the period. The assist came from another red-hot Flyer, Joel Farabee. The goal tied JVR and Farabee for at the top of the Flyers scoring column this season. Flyers lead scorer.

Within minutes, Buffalo was there to even the score. Coming just five minutes after, Buffalo scored again, putting them in the lead. The Flyers had some optimal scoring opportunities but Johanssen was there to stop all of them.

It seemed as though the Flyers were struggling with incomplete passes and sloppy turnovers. With less than four minutes left on the clock, the Sabres once again sailed one into the back of the net.

With 57.1 left in the first, Flyers went on a powerplay after Sean Couturier took a hit to the face and Cody Eakin was called for high-sticking.

Going 3-1 down at the end of the opening stanza certainly wasn’t ideal and AV was quick to step in.

Time for a change

The Flyers started the second period with a goalie change. Hart was out of the net and Elliot took his place. Beginning the period with a remaining power play, the Flyers were unable to capitalize on the man advantage.

However, Kevin Hayes was later waiting in front of the net and was able to capitalize on Laughton’s pass. Once again within minutes, the Sabres were able to take back their comfortable lead.

It was then time for Buffalo to go on the powerplay after Hayes was called for tripping. The Flyers had back-to-back power plays with many close calls but were ultimately unsuccessful on the first one. The Flyers were finally able to score on the second power play and narrow the gap once again. The goal came from captain Claude Giroux with Jakub Voracek getting the assist. The period ended with a 4-3 lead for Buffalo.

The Flyers fight back

The period started out as a game of chase, the puck going back and forth between ends with neither side able to make anything come of their plays.

Coming down to the final seven minutes of the period, the Flyers went on their final power play and Buffalo wasn’t able to stop them from scoring. Ghostisbehere received Couturier’s pass, finding the back of the net.

Quickly after, the stadium was filled with the roaring shouts of “ref you suck” as Voracek was sent to the penalty box for tripping with less than three minutes left. The third period ended with a tie of 4-4 and sent us into overtime.

Overtime:

With five minutes on the clock to decide the final score, Sean Couturier had a breakaway chance to score but the puck was stopped by Johansson. The Flyers ended overtime with three shots on goal, and the Sabres had two. 

Shootout:

Both Sean Couturier and Nolan Patrick were able to beat Johansson and put their pucks in the net. Elliot was able to block both shots from the Sabres.

This was ultimately another game for the Flyers that started out strong but was soon to go downhill, only this time we were able to come away with a win.

It seems like first periods just aren’t their thing, but AV continues to find a way to rally his team when it matters most. The Flyers were able to make a strong comeback and while it wasn’t another shutout like in their previous two encounters, it was still another win. The orange and black are definitely a fighting team and this game showed that.

The next game for the Flyers will be another home game against the Capitals. Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm.

Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre

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