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GAME RECAP: FLYERS 5, SABRES 2

Flyers continue their push toward the playoffs with a decisive 5-2 victory over Buffalo.

Sunday, 04.06.2014 / 10:14 PM / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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GAME RECAP: FLYERS 5, SABRES 2
The Flyers were badly in need of a pick me up. They got it in the form of the Buffalo Sabres.
PHILADELPHIA – The Flyers were badly in need of a pick me up. They got it in the form of the Buffalo Sabres.
With concerns that the Flyers were leaking oil after such a great run of hockey over a lengthy period of time, the ideal elixir proved to be the team with the league’s worst record with an injury list so long it could serve as a men’s slow-pitch softball lineup.
With the Sabres more representing the Rochester Americans of the AHL – their minor league affiliate – the Flyers were able to stem the tide and win rather comfortably 5-2, lowering their magic number to clinch a playoff spot to three points.
Quite simply, two more wins or one more win and one more loss by New Jersey and the Flyers will be back in the postseason.
Brayden Schenn scored a pair of goal to become the sixth Flyer to reach 20 this season. Matt Read, Zac Rinaldo and Vinny Lecavalier also scored for the Flyers who picked up win No. 40 this season.
Steve Mason made 17 saves as he was often untested by the Sabres.
“I think we just played the first two periods really well,” Read said. “We were playing great defense, not giving up much in the defensive zone, which led to a lot of offense for us, had a lot of shots tonight and a couple of breaks, couple of bounces and things kind of going our way.
“It’s good to get our confidence up a little bit, but we’ve still got a couple games here to find our full potential.”
Mark Streit had an excellent game for the Flyers with three  assists as well as strong defensive play. His rocket of a slap shot went off the post right to Read for the first goal of the game and he also fired a bomb on net that Schenn tipped past Sabres goalie Nathan Lieuwen for his first goal of the game.
Rinaldo had a bit of a back-and-forth game for the Flyers. He scored just his second goal of the season off a nice feed from Read and drew another penalty, something he has become proficient at doing.
“He played well,” coach Craig Berube said. “I thought he played well in Boston too. He did a lot of good things out there moving his feet, scored a goal. He takes the body, hits, he disrupts people. He’s a physical player.”
But he was also whistled for four penalties – two which were questionable, and two which weren’t. Unfortunately, one of the ones that wasn’t was a head shot to Buffalo defenseman Chad Ruhwedel which earned him a match penalty, and gave the Sabres a five-minute power play on which they scored their first goal.
It’s likely that hit will result in a phone call with the NHL department of player safety and could end up costing Rinaldo some time.
“He’s got to be smarter there,” Berube said.
Schenn was on his game, playing with Michael Raffl at center and Wayne Simmonds on a new second line created by coach Craig Berube.
Simmonds sprung Schenn on a breakout play down the right wing and Schenn sniped a beauty of a shot over Lieuwen’s glove for the fifth Flyers goal.
“It’s nice to get that first one, especially when I’ve felt like I’ve been getting a lot of chances lately - whether they’re hitting the post or just not scoring on my opportunities,” Schenn said. So it was nice to get the one for sure.
“It’s nice to score and help the team out as much as you can and contribute, but at the same time, at the end of the day, the wins are the most important. It’s nice to score two goals and get the win.”
Lecavalier’s tally was pretty similar to Schenn’s second goal as he took a touch pass from Jake Voracek and beat Lieuwen with a filthy wrister.
The Flyers embark on their final road trip of the season tomorrow and will be in Florida Tuesday where they can clinch a playoff berth against the Panthers.
“Every game’s important,” Read said. “You’ve got to worry who you’re playing, but you’ve got to worry about yourself mostly. It’s about playing the full 60 minutes, finding a way to win hockey games and get back to that mentality of outworking the other team.”
To contact Anthony SanFilippo email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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