Highlights: Flyers get easy win over Sabres
Zac Rinaldo collides with Henrik Tallinder in the Flyers' 4-1 win over the Sabres. (AP)
They had already blown not one but two five-on-three power plays, hardly mustering anything that you would classify as a “shot.”
They didn’t seem to know what quite to make of Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, whose .917 save percentage is pretty impressive on a bad club.
Should we shoot? Should we pass? And where?
That’s how it went for much of the first 40 minutes of play for the Flyers before Matt Read, Steve Downie and Sean Couturier awakened their club with a pair of goals generated by their line just 1:09 apart in the second period.
Read scored twice as the Flyers overcame a 1-0 deficit and took a one-goal lead into the third period during Thursday’s 4-1 victory over the Sabres at Wells Fargo Center.
Goalie Ray Emery evened his record at 3-3 in his sixth start, while the win extended the Flyers' point streak to six games (5-0-1).
With the victory, the Flyers officially hit the quarter mark of the season (21) and are 9-10-2 with 20 points.
The Flyers overcame themselves in the first period. They treated the puck like it was a live grenade, fumbling it in both the offensive and defensive zones. Their passing was anything but crisp and their turnovers led to the only goal in the period -- by Buffalo.
The Flyers went into the third leading 2-1 for the sixth time this season and got a clutch power-play goal from Vinny Lecavalier to give Emery some breathing room at 9:58, making it 3-1. Lecavalier leads the Flyers with eight goals.
The Sabres had some chances early in the game but their puck skills were brutal, like missing Ville Leino with a half-empty net facing him or John Scott being unable to get his stick down properly on a redirect in front of Emery. Emery had a nice save on Drew Stafford’s scoring chance after an Erik Gustafsson turnover.
Missed opportunities II
In the first 10 minutes, Claude Giroux and Lecavalier hit the post twice. After that? The Flyers were simply awful with the puck on their sticks the remainder of the period. Botched passes, turnovers, flubbed shots. They blew a 41-second two-man advantage and had trouble even setting things up.
The big kill
The beleaguered penalty kill units had an outstanding kill during Scott Hartnell’s four-minute high stick in the second period. At one point, the Flyers had the puck in Buffalo’s end and generated better chances than their own power play units.
The big chill
That would be a five-on-three Flyer power play shortly after their big kill in the second period in which the team was indecisive on when or where to shoot and moved the puck around the ice like it was still a live grenade. Miller faced three easy shots when all he had to do was raise or lower the glove.
How bad are the Sabres? So bad that … Buffalo is now 0-3-1 when scoring first and 0-16-0 when trailing after two periods.
Buffalo had not led after the first period in any game this season … until now. Tyler Myers scored in a scrum late in the first period for a 1-0 Sabres' lead.
Read it and weep
Read drilled one past Miller from the high slot at 14:09 of the first on a pass from Downie. Then he made it 2-1 at 15:49 when Downie found him alone in front. Read made Miller commit, then went top shelf. That line had six points.
The Flyers were 1 for 7 on the power play. The Sabres were 1 for 5.
Both defensemen Andrej Meszaros and Hal Gill sat out their sixth consecutive game. Michael Raffl sat out his fifth straight. All were healthy.
Just wondering when the last time the Flyers went six straight games with nothing but healthy scratches? Had to have been years ago. … The Flyers had a season-high in shots with 46.