Starting their Saint Patrick’s Day weekend back-to-back, the Philadelphia Flyers played host to the Buffalo Sabres. Ending a four-game losing streak, the Flyers earned the first victory of the Daniel Briere era against one of his synonymous former teams, the Sabres, 5-2.
Not every fan will be happy with the victory, trending opposite of where Connor Bedard resides as the consensus top overall selection at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
To those who like to see a victory, they’re hard to come by. Philadelphia stuck it out in a hard-fought win against a team who needed every point en route to their postseason mission. Buffalo could look back on the season series against the Flyers as the spoiler keeping them out of the NHL Wildcard picture.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Buffalo Sabres
Owen Tippett broke the ice, putting the Flyers on the scoreboard first. Tippett fired a laser from the faceoff dot on the powerplay, beating Craig Anderson; 1-0. Tony DeAngelo and Cam York set Tippett up for his nineteenth of the season and seventh powerplay goal in 2022-2023. The first of the evening for Tippett provided a perfect finish to the Flyers’ powerplay.
Joel Farabee doubled the lead at the beginning of the second period. He meant to set up Tyson Foerster for a one-timer, but the shot went wide. Farabee kept with the puck from behind the net and slid it under Anderson; 2-0. It was the first goal for Farabee since January 9th and the first career NHL point for Foerster.
“I’m starting to make a few more plays than I have been. We’re all just trying to play freely out there, not think too much.”Joel Farabee; 3/17/2023
Again, Tippett lit the lamp nine minutes after Farabee. Kevin Hayes connected a confident pass to set a one-timer for Tippett for his twentieth of the season; 3-0.
Next, James van Riemsdyk was next to add his name to the scoring sheet. Scott Laughton shot, but it was blocked. Staying with the puck, Laughton dished to van Riemsdyk for the easy tip-in; 4-0.
Victor Olofsson killed the shutout bid for Hart. In under three minutes into the third period, with Laughton in the box for hooking, Olofsson capitalized on a Sabres powerplay; 4-1.
Shortly after, Tippett completed the hat trick. Nick Seeler flipped the puck out of the defensive zone, leading Tippett on a breakaway. Using his speed, Tippett controlled the puck and deked Anderson to the ice with a slick backhand finish; 5-1. It was his first NHL hat trick, dominating the Sabres on Saint Patrick’s Day.
“It’s pretty cool. Obviously, some of the guys were making jokes about it, but when I got that break, I tried to stay calm, but that was pretty cool.”Owen Tippett; 3/17/2023
Ivan Provorov and Seeler went to the box for separate penalties with two minutes left. Olofsson scored another powerplay goal with .4 seconds remaining in regulation; 5-2. The Flyers finished 1/1 on the powerplay, 2/4 on the penalty kill, and snapped their four-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory versus the Sabres.
Owen Tippett (+)
There was speculation whether a player like Tippett would mesh well with John Tortorella when the Philadelphia Flyers hired their coach last June. Instead, Tippett is flourishing under Tortorella and looks like a vital player entering a rebuild. A hat trick and surpassing twenty goals for the first time in his short career doubled his previous career high of ten goals last season between the Flyers and the Florida Panthers.
“Getting traded here last year gave me a new opportunity and a fresh start. It’s been great so far, and I love playing in Philly.”Owen Tippett; 3/17/2023
Carter Hart (+)
He missed out on Tuesday versus the Vegas Golden Knights but settled between the pipes tonight. Under pressure early in the first period, Hart stood tall against a streaky Sabres offense. He saved 34/36 shots on goal, keeping his composure steady throughout the contest.
Next, the Philadelphia Flyers host the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow, in the evening, with a 5pm faceoff in South Philadelphia.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)