Flyers Slam Sabres, Win Series

Published on April 27th, 2011

Stanley Cup Playoffs (1st Round):  Game 7 – Flyers 5 Sabres 2

by Mike del Tufo

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 in Game 7.  The Flyers, who staved off elimination and forced a decisive Game 7 on Sunday, won relatively easily after a hard-fought initial 6 games.  They advanced to the 2nd round with an opponent yet to be determined. 

In this game, Ryan Miller started in net for the Sabres and Brian Boucher for the Flyers.  Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger was in the line-up for the 2nd game of the series.  The Flyers dressed 7 defensemen and 11 forwards instead of the usual 6 and 12 to accommodate Pronger not being able to log his regular amount of ice-time on the blue-line.  The Sabres were missing forwards Patrick Kaleta and Tim Connolly due to injury.  Derek Roy made his series debut in this game.  He had been out with a knee injury since December 23rd.

Flyers forward combinations:
Briere-Leino-Hartnell
Giroux-JVR-Zherdev
Richards-Versteeg
Betts-Powe-Carcillo

Flyers defensemen pairings:
Timonen-Coburn
Pronger-Carle
Meszaros-O’Donnell
Syvret

The puck dropped to a deafening roar from the crowd who were clad in a sea of orange. The first 5 minutes of the 1st period, the Flyers completely dominated, outshooting the Sabres 5-1.  Winger Claude Giroux had the puck in all alone on Miller but banged the puck off of the goalpost during this sequence.  The Sabres got the 1st power-play of the game at 15:23 when Danny Briere took a boarding minor after hitting Sabre Rob Niedermayer.  Buffalo recorded no shots on this.  Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn scored at 19:41 to give Flyers 1-0 lead.  The Flyers outshot the Sabres 16 to 2 in this period.  They utterly dominated territorially.

Giroux took an interference minor at 1:04 of the 2nd period.  The Sabres’ offense finally came alive and they notched 3 shots on this power-play.  At 4:40, the Flyers got a power-play of their own when Tyler Myers took an interference minor.  5 seconds into it, Briere scored his 6th goal of the playoffs.  The Flyers then went go up 3-0 at 10:19 when JVR scored on the power-play as well.  The Flyers continued to dominate in this period while the Sabres seemed to wilt.

The Flyers continued the onslaught and made it 4-0 at 1:59 of the 3rd period when Ville Leino blasted it in.  Jhonas Enroth then replaced Miller in net.  The Sabres broke up the shut-out at 6:33 when Myers banged it past Boosh.  The Flyers then put the hammer down at 10:03 when Dan Carcillo scored to make it 5-1 Flyers.  Brad Boyes of the Sabres got one late at 15:21 on the power-play to make it 5-2.  The Flyers cruised the rest of the way to clinch a rough series and advance to the next round.

Briere on winning Game 7 said, “I think that our experience really showed.  It’s not a secret, we have played a lot of big games in the last year with mostly the same group.  I think that had a lot to do with it.  They are a young team.  I think they will be a good team for many years to come.  That was probably a good lesson for them.  But on our side, we are used to playing with our backs against the wall.  We have done it many times, and have won most of them.  Once again, I love the character of our team.”

The 2nd round beckons.  Their opponent could be the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, or Tampa Bay Lightning.

Flyers and Sabres shake hands after Flyers are victorious in the series | Source: Andrew King

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