The Buffalo Sabres were a middle of the pack team on the power play in 2011-12, but they looked like an elite bunch with the extra man Sunday.
Thomas Vanek had five points and Tyler Myers scored Buffalo's third power-play goal of the afternoon late in the third period to propel the Sabres past the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-2, at First Niagra Center.
Cody Hodgson, in his first full season with the Sabres, added an insurance goal just 76 seconds later. With Myers and Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell in the box, Hodgson put the rebound of a Vanek breakaway chance past Bryzgalov. Vanek sealed the victory with an empty-net tally with 47.4 seconds left.
It appeared as though Philadelphia might have pulled one back when the scored was still 4-2 with Bryzgalov on the bench for an extra attacker, but play was whistled dead as the puck was squirting past a crowd in the Buffalo goal crease and into the Sabres' net. Vanek's second goal of the game came seconds later.
The Flyers once held a 2-1 lead early in the second period, but they have now started the season with back-to-back losses after dropping a 3-1 decision Saturday afternoon to the rival Pittsburgh Penguins.
Sabres forward Steve Ott needed a little more than 11 minutes to provide an impact for his new club. His one-timer from the slot was the first extra-man tally of the day and gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead at 11:07 of the opening period.
Philadelphia struck twice early in the second. Second-year center Sean Couturier deflected a Kurtis Foster shot past Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller at 2:23 of the period. New captain Claude Giroux pushed the Flyers in front at 4:57 of the period, but Vanek drew the Sabres level at 15:54 with the team's second power-play marker of the game.
Miller made 27 saves, and Jason Pominville had three assists for the Sabres.
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