4 - 5 Final
  for this game

Flyers outlast Sabres to even series

Apr 17, 2011 - 1:13 AM
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Danny Briere netted the winner late in the second period and Brian Boucher stopped 20-of-21 shots in a relief role as Philadelphia recorded its first victory of these playoffs with a 5-4 decision in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal set.

"We were fired up to start the game, there's no doubt about it," Briere said after Philly's 1-0 loss on Thursday. "We just have to be careful. It's a fine line, crossing over to being too emotional, taking too many penalties."

Claude Giroux, Dan Carcillo and Ville Leino also tallied for the Flyers, who dropped a 1-0 decision in Thursday's opener and won Saturday despite finishing just 1-for-10 on the power play.

Boucher notched the win after starter Sergei Bobrovsky allowed three goals on seven shots in the first 12 1/2 minutes.

Thomas Vanek scored twice and Cody McCormick once for the Sabres, who were bidding to take a commanding 2-0 series edge.

"Sure. I thought the first period I think it was back and forth, you know it was a tight game. Second period I think we took too many penalties and they got rewarded for it. The third we had our chances, didn?t get it and still got a 5-on-5 goal to get it within one. We threw what we had at them and it just wasn't good enough tonight," Vanek said when asked if he felt this game was one that slipped away.

Two days after recording his second career postseason shutout, Ryan Miller was shelled in the loss for all five goals on 34 shots.

Game 3 shifts to Buffalo on Monday.

Power-play troubles cropped up once more for Philadelphia in the second period with the game tied, 3-3.

Four separate advantages -- including a 39-second two-man edge near the midway point -- proved unfruitful. It wasn't until Leino's shot through a screen from the left circle during a 5-on-4 created by a Steve Montador tripping penalty made it 4-3 with 6:24 left in the second.

It was 5-3 just under two minutes later when Scott Hartnell's rolling shot from the point hit Briere's skate in front and redirected past Miller.

Despite frittering away two power-play chances early in the third period, the Sabres got within 5-4 on McCormick's backhanded stuffer try at the 6:12 mark.

Buffalo came up empty on a subsequent power play, and Philadelphia also sputtered on its 10th and final advantage with roughly 11 minutes left in the contest.

Miller was called to the bench for an extra skater with 1:14 remaining, but the Sabres were largely unable to advance the puck into their offensive zone until the buzzer.

"Yeah, it's unfortunate; we had an opportunity to leave here with two (wins), said Sabres forward Jason Pominville. "We leave here with a split. I thought we competed and worked hard at the end, had an opportunity to get ourselves back in the game. Leaving here with a win is definitely fun, but that?s what playoffs are all about."

These clubs, who played to a tight 1-0 contest less than 48 hours prior, combined for six goals in the opening 20 minutes.

Giroux got the onslaught started when he deked a Buffalo defender between the circles and ripped a shot by Miller at the four-minute mark.

The Sabres failed to capitalize on a 22-second 5-on-3 advantage minutes later, but Bobrovsky flopped needlessly on the one-man edge when the puck was down low and Vanek stood in the crease to convert a Marc-Andre Gragnani pass to tie the game at 6:43.

Carcillo shook off a defender and potted a Kris Versteeg rebound in front to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead at 7:20, but Buffalo knotted the score on a power play just before the midway point of the period.

Vanek snuck the disc past bodies at the right post while stationed behind the goal line. The play was initially waved off and sent to a league replay booth to judge whether or not the puck entered the net legally, and a brief review was able to determine that it caromed off Bobrovsky's back and in.

The Sabres then went up 3-2 with 7 1/2 minutes left in the first, as Andrej Sekera exited the penalty box and finished off a 3-on-1 rush with a shot inside the right post.

"As a goaltender it's not one of those games you look forward to playing," Boucher said about coming in so early. "This was a must win for us, and we got it. now our biggest game is Game 3."

That was enough to summon playoff veteran Boucher, and the move paid off only 44 seconds later when James van Riemsdyk slid a low shot past Miller inside the right pipe.

The Flyers could have blown the game open before the period expired thanks to a two-man advantage for 67 seconds, but despite decent pressure, no lead score materialized.

"We obviously didn't want to go down two-nothing so we just pushed back a little bit and responded well," said van Riemsdyk. "It's going to be two very hard-fought games when we get there. We are going to take it one day at a time."

Game Notes

The Flyers improved to 36-29 all time in Game 2's and upped their mark to 19-16 all-time in Game 2 when trailing 1-0 in a series...Matt Carle, Andrej Meszaros and Kimmo Timonen all posted a pair of assists for Philly...The Sabres scratched defenseman Shaone Morrisonn with an undisclosed injury suffered in Game 1, and inserted Sekera in his place...Buffalo recalled defenseman Dennis Persson from Portland of the American Hockey League prior to the contest...Flyers forward Nikolay Zherdev was a healthy scratch for the second straight contest and defenseman Chris Pronger was out once again as he continues to recover from right-hand surgery.