Flyers Hold Off Sabres On The Road, 3-2
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Ilya Bryzgalov made 29 saves and the Philadelphia Flyers scored three times in the first period to chase All-Star goalie Ryan Miller in a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.
It was the first meeting between the teams since the Flyers eliminated the Sabres in seven games during their Eastern Conference quarterfinal last season.
Sean Couturier, James van Riemsdyk and Scott Hartnell scored for the Flyers, who won their second straight after losing four of five.
Luke Adam had a goal and an assist and Andrej Sekera also scored for the Sabres, who have lost four of five. They fell to 1-4-0 in Buffalo.
Miller was pulled after Hartnell made it 3-0 just 6:23 into the game. Miller finished with eight saves before being lifted for backup Jhonas Enroth, who had 15 saves in relief.
Bryzgalov helped preserve the win with a pair of nifty saves on Sabres leading scorer Thomas Vanek over the final 16 seconds.
The Flyers were without center Danny Briere for the second straight game because of an upper-body injury.
Vanek, meanwhile, missed almost 20 minutes after leaving midway through the second period. He skated directly to the dressing room after a scrum in front of the Flyers net while Buffalo was on a power play, but returned with 12 minutes to go in the third.
On his first shift back he assisted on Adam’s goal.
Adam made it 3-2 with 11:31 remaining when his pass attempt to the front from behind the goal line deflected in off Bryzgalov’s stick.
Down by three goals after 20 minutes, the Sabres closed the gap to 3-1 on Sekera’s first of the season. His slap shot from the blue line ricocheted off the end boards before banking in off Bryzgalov’s pads.
The Flyers struck first with a pair of goals only 13 seconds apart early in the first. Couturier banged home a rebound at 1:43, and van Riemsdyk made it 2-0 with a wrist shot into the top right corner from the left circle.
Hartnell chased Miller when his slap shot whizzed over the goalie’s left shoulder 6:23 into the opening period.
NOTES: The last time Miller was pulled due to a poor performance was after allowing four goals in one period at Florida on Dec. 17, 2010. Enroth replaced Miller halfway through the final game of last season, but that was by design. It was the third-quickest pull in Miller’s career. … Flyers forward Matt Read missed his first game because of an upper-body injury. … Bryzgalov improved to 1-3-0 in his last four games against Buffalo. … Sabres C Ville Leino signed with Buffalo during the offseason after registering career highs in goals and points with Philadelphia last season. … The Sabres are 1-3-0 during their five-game homestand, tied for their longest this season. They finish off the stretch Friday against Calgary.
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