The Philadelphia Flyers continue to leave their early-season woes behind them.
Matt Read scored twice in the second period, and Ray Emery made 29 saves to lead the Flyers to a 4-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night, extending their unbeaten streak in regulation to six games.
"We're having fun out there, doing simple things, not turning pucks over and just playing simple hockey," Read said. "We're a good team, and it just takes a matter of time and a couple of lucky bounces to get a positive atmosphere and get things clicking and going our way."
Read beat Sabres goalie Ryan Miller at 14:09 and again at 15:49, both off feeds by Steve Downie, after Buffalo grabbed the lead late in the first period on Tyler Myers' power-play goal. Vincent Lecavalier added a power-play goal midway through the third period and Scott Hartnell hit the empty net with 10.9 seconds left in the game.
Philadelphia is now 5-0-1 since a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 7 and 9-10-2 overall after a 4-10-1 start. It was the first time in nine games this season the Flyers have won after allowing the game's first goal; they had been 0-7-1 when the opponent scored first.
"You have to stay on it all the time," said Flyers coach Craig Berube, who took over after the Flyers lost their first three games under Peter Laviolette. "You can't take a break. You have to be really smart out there. You have to keep working at it. If you want to be a really good team in this league, it takes a lot of work and a lot of preparation."
The Sabres lost their third in a row and fell to 5-18-1; their 11 points are last in the NHL. Miller kept them in the game with 42 saves but fell to 4-13-0 in his 17 appearances.
"We have to play a certain way, and by doing stupid things like we have been, it's going to be ugly games," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. "I've seen enough in four games. We have to change some things, and players have to do it or it's going to be a long year.
"You have to do simple things. You can't have turnovers, can't have foolish penalties, can't be muscled off the puck."
After the Flyers failed to score during 41 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage in the first, they saw their 5-on-4 power play cut short by a high-sticking call against Mark Streit at 16:29. Buffalo capitalized on its power play when Myers scored off a scramble one second before Streit would have stepped out of the box.
The Sabres buzzed the Flyers zone and had Philadelphia's defense scrambling before Tyler Ennis fired a shot from the lower right circle that hit the far post. The puck sat in the crease and Myers jammed it over the goal line at 18:28 for his second goal of the season -- giving the Sabres their first lead after one period in 24 games this season.
Buffalo had a chance to add to its lead when Flyers forward Scott Hartnell was assessed a double minor for high sticking Buffalo defenseman Mike Weber. The Sabres managed four shots, not counting Christian Ehrhoff's blast off the post, but put only sporadic pressure on Emery.
Philadelphia got a second 5-on-3 power play, this one for 1:22, in the second period when Myers was called for tripping at 5:45 and a bad line change led to a bench penalty for too many men at 6:23. The Flyers had plenty of zone time, but their three shots were easily stopped by Miller.
The Flyers finally got one past Miller at 14:09. Read slid off the left boards and was unchecked as he drifted into the slot. Downie controlled the puck in the right circle and slid a pass for Read's one-timer into a half-empty net.
Downie and Read teamed again on their next shift to put the Flyers in front. Downie picked up a carom after a Buffalo clearing pass hit a linesman and slid a backhand pass toward the front of the net, where Read had been left all alone. Read deked Miller to the ice, stepped to his right and flipped the puck high into the net at 15:49 for his sixth of the season.
Lecavalier scored his eighth of the season at 9:58 of the third on a one-timer from the right circle on the Flyers' sixth power play.
"They're playing good hockey," Berube said of his team, which is fifth in the Metropolitan Division but two points out of the final guaranteed berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. "There are things they can improve on. You're always working to get better, and that's what we're going to do."
The game marked the first time two First Nations coaches -- Nolan and Berube -- have run the opposing benches in an NHL game.
Material from team media was used in this report
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