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Thursday, February 19, 2009

2/19 - Live Sabres v Flyers

Tonight's game promises to be an interesting one as the Flyers aim to complete the true NY sweep after beating the Rangers and the Isles this weekend. This is an important stretch for Philly - 9 of their next 12 at home.

Biron gets the start against his old team, not a surprise. Let's see if he can build some confidence off those victories.


Early action is end to end, ending with an Upshall break down the wing and a slapper that is gloved by a sprawling Ryan Miller.

18:40 - First penalty of the evening, Paille goes to the box on a hook.

Not a very threatening man advantage, couple of near chances but the puck spent too much time in the wrong end. 1 shot.

12:06 - We reach our first media timeout. Terrific chances for both teams, but the Sabres have picked up their aggression since the penalty. Their D-men are pinching often and giving the Flyers breaks - one team is going to capitalize eventually.

11:26 - Gagne is robbed on the back post after a terrific feed from Richards - great save by Miller.

8:37 - Wow. Giroux just laid a beautiful drop pass for Timonen on the 2 on 1 but Miller forces Kimmo out wide and Giroux can't slam the puck in as its laying near the crease. This was all after the Sabres had tremendous pressure, but their pinching gave up yet another odd man rush.

7:18 - GOAL! 1-0 PHI - Flyers take the lead! Richards grabs it off the boards, fires it to the net and Metro is there to tip it by Miller, who was in solid position.

2:18 - Biron stands tall in net and breaks up a chance for the Sabres after a poor giveaway by Asham. Stuck his glove right in front of Gaustad's stick. Good play, Marty.

:42 - Things are heating up as Hartnell and Hecht almost get into it in the corner. Two strong opportunities for Buffalo and now they'll go on the powerplay as Hartnell goes to the box for roughing.


Video Highlights Courtesy Of

Interesting period we had here in Philadelphia. Reminded me of some of the recent Sabres/Flyers playoff series .. back and forth action, odd-man breaks, speed up and down the lineup. Difference is that this time the Flyers have the speed to match. Upshall/Giroux/Powe are flying around, they really look like they enjoy playing together.

This game can go either way - Sabres will return with 1:18 of powerplay time on fresh ice, and we'll take it from there.


18:40 - PP over, couple of chances for the Sabres but nothing too troublesome.

16:44 - GOAL - 1-1 - Spacek scores from the slot on a shot that trickle through Biron's pads. A chance that the Flyers shouldn't have allowed - but a goal that Biron should have had.

11:03 - GOAL!! 2-1 PHI - WOW. What incredible forechecking! If you want a sense, the Sabres announcer just said - "the longest spell in your own end of the rink this season for Buffalo". The Richards line just kept plugging away and just when it looked like the Sabres would clear, Gagne stopped it - found Richards, who found Coburn, who put a beauty by Miller.

9:47 - Powe takes a hooking penalty. No complaints, he earned it.

GOAL 2-2 - Spacek scores on a ripped shot on a delayed penalty - so the Sabres tie it and they get another powerplay to boot. Alberts to the box. Ouch.

5:57 - GOAL! 3-2 PHI - You better believe Richards has done it again. Flyers take a 3 on 1 up the ice, turns into a 3 on 2 and Richards takes an excellent pass from Timonen and slips it by Miller for the lead!

Savvy play by Timonen to put that puck on the net. I figured he'd drop it back to the uncovered man but he threaded it to Richards and Miller was caught off guard. The score is starting to reflect the back and forth nature of this game - though the Flyers need to stop taking bad penalties.

1:18 - Richards line generates another great chance but Mike takes the penalty for goaltender interference at the end of their shift. Rivet gave him a nice shove in the head, fans don't like it. Sabres get another late powerplay.

:31 - GOAL 3-3 - Roy finds a loose puck in the crease and shoves it under Biron. Another soft goal, and a huge one in the late stages of this period. Flyers are going to be upset going to the locker room after being able to take back the energy from those penalties.


Nothing has changed so far in the first five minutes of the third. Chances for both teams - Flyers forechecking very well, Sabres using speed to break wide and get opportunities. Two dubious no-calls on Sabres have the Wachovia Center in arms.

9:00 - The Upshall line gets a huge chance! They are really continuing to be noticeable in every game that they play together. No goal comes of it but they may be able to turn the play in the Flyers direction, as Buffalo has been controlling of late.

7:18 - Flyers get a powerplay chance after Miller makes a couple of key saves. Lydman to the box. Hooking.

6:09 - GOAL!! 4-3 PHI - Gagne picks up a loose puck behind the net, finds Knuble in the crease, and he slams it home for the lead! Such a steady influence on the PP this year, Knuble.

Flyers keep up the pressure - that powerplay really woke them up.. thank you Lydman.

4:11 - And now the Flyers have used their timeout. They'd just iced the puck - so Stevens must have wanted to rest the guys stuck out there.

Paille had a terrific shot from the slot that Biron was able to shrug aside - Philly maintains the slim lead with another icing.

Furious action! Sabres had a pileup in front of the net but the whistle never blew as the puck trickled across the crease - then the Flyers come the other way with a 2 on 1 but the pass is just out of reach, and play settles down as we approach the 2 minute mark.

1:09 - Miller has gone to the bench, puck finds its way to Biron's glove. Ryan will stay on the bench and we've got 6 on 5 action to finish this up. It's fitting that the game comes down to this - both teams have played well and it's been a pleasure to watch.

And Buffalo takes their timeout so Lindy Ruff can draw up a play.

:42 - GOAL! 5-3 PHI - Richards takes the puck away at the point, slips to center ice and fires the puck into the empty kitchen. That's points on all five goals for Richards, 2+3. Hell of a game.

:9 - GOAL! 6-3 PHI - Miller stays on the bench, Powe steals a puck at the point, streaks up the left boards with his Princeton speed and deposits the puck.


Well, the final score doesn't tell you how close this game was, but that's merely the result of two empty netters. Can't blame Buffalo for giving it a shot. They ended up outshooting the Flyers 42-38, but can't overcome a late penalty by Lydman and the ensuing PP goal by the Flyers.

Biron let in a couple of soft goals, but he did make 39 saves to his credit. He looked worried at times, but wins will build his confidence, and he certainly wasn't awful.

Powe robbed Richards the chance of being involved on all of Philly's goals - but a five point night is still very impressive.

The NY sweep is complete! Next up: Pittsburgh comes to town on Saturday, fresh off a win over the struggling Canadiens.

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