Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Flyers snap out of funk, double up Sabres

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor

Jeff  Carter recorded  a  goal and  two assists  as Philadelphia  posted a season-high for  goals in a game with a 6-3 win over Buffalo, in a contest which saw the home team honor one of its most memorable players.

Claude  Giroux and Danny Briere added a goal and a helper each for the Flyers, who  had lost four of five coming in and earned their fourth win of the season by notching a season-high three power-play goals.

Nikolay Zherdev, Darroll  Powe and Andreas Nodl also tallied to back 32 saves from Sergei Bobrovsky.

Prior to the contest, the Flyers honored former defenseman Barry Ashbee, who was part of the team's 1974 Stanley Cup winners despite having his career ended by a severe eye injury before the conclusion of that season. Ashbee was named as assistant coach prior to the start of the following season, also a championship campaign.

Diagnosed with leukemia in April, 1977, Ashbee passed away the following month and subsequently his Number 4 was retired by the franchise.

Thomas  Vanek, Tyler Myers  and Steve Montador hit the net for the Sabres, who have dropped six of their last eight games.

Ryan Miller allowed five goals on 33 shots in the loss. The 2010 Vezina Trophy winner has given up five goals in a game twice in nine games this year. He gave up five goals just three times in 69 games last season.

The  Flyers moved ahead for good at 4:43 of the second period, but not without controversy.  While Zherdev cruised through the slot, Briere was pushed behind Miller  by a  defenseman and stood in  the crease as the Ukrainian winger shot the  puck  into the  far  side  of the  net.  Despite  Miller's complaints of interference, the home team took a 2-1 advantage.

Giroux fed Powe at the left side of the crease to cap a 2-on-1 break for a 3-1 Philly  lead at the  11:44 mark, then it was a three-goal edge on a power play less  than three minutes later as Giroux won a faceoff forward and sent a pass intended for Nodl off the skate of Sabres captain Mike Grier and past Miller.

On  a  two-man advantage, Carter's redirection  in the slot of a Mike Richards slap pass made it 5-1 at 38 seconds of the third period.

Myers  ripped a  shot through  a screen  for a  power-play marker  at 7:10  to bring Buffalo within three, and when Montador had an open look in the slot for a successful wrister with 7:28 remaining it was 5-3.

The  Sabres  had an extra skater  out with 1:35 to  play, and had a goal wiped out  25  seconds later as  Vanek was ruled  to have kicked  a puck in with his skate.

Nodl then hit the empty net with 36 seconds to play to seal the victory, tallying his first goal of the season after linemate Blair Betts gave up the puck along the Buffalo blue line.

Buffalo  hit the  scoreboard at 8:54 of the first period when Montador's point drive  sailed  through traffic, hit Vanek  in the pants, and trickled into the net.

Philadelphia equalized on the power play with 4:45 to go, when Briere took his own  rebound  from along the goal  line to the  left of Miller and squeezed it through at the left post. It was his team-leading sixth of the season.

Notes: Carter's  last  three-point game  occurred during  a 4-2  win over Carolina on January  23,  2010...It was the  Flyers' first home  win over the Sabres since March 10, 2009 when they took a 5-2 game...The Flyers' win snapped a streak of five  straight  victories by the  road team, beginning with Philadelphia's 6-4
decision at Buffalo on March 20, 2009...All four games last season were won by the  road  team...Briere and Giroux  posted their first multi-point efforts of the year...Nodl recorded his first point since notching an assist against Washington on Dec. 5, 2009. It also was the second goal of his career and first since Dec. 20, 2008 against the Capitals.

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