Five different players scored for the Philadelphia Flyers to help them beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on Tuesday night and send the franchise to the second round of the NHL playoffs.
The Flyers will have to wait for the results of both the Boston/Montreal and Pittsburgh/Tampa Bay games Wednesday night to figure out who they will play in the next round.
Brayden Coburn, Danny Briere, James van Riemsdyk, Ville Leino and Daniel Carcillo all scored for the Flyers, who dominated the Sabres for the entire 60 minutes.
Brian Boucher made 26 saves on a relatively quiet night compared to his counterparts.
Ryan Miller made 24 saves in a losing cause. Jonas Enroth replaced Miller in the third period after the fourth goal and made seven saves while allowing one goal.
Tyler Myers and Brad Boyes scored late for the Sabres, who were eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs for the second year in a row.
The Flyers started the game on the offensive and never let up. They outshot the Sabres 16-2 in the first period and it looked as if Miller would shut out the Flyers despite their dominance.
But with under a minute remaining in the frame, Briere won a faceoff clean back to Coburn, who threw a wrist shot towards the net. Veteran Sabre Mike Grier attempted to grab the puck with his hand but deflected the puck between the legs of Miller.
Philadelphia carried the momentum into the second period, punishing the Sabres with a relentless forecheck. About five minutes in, Briere won yet another faceoff back to captain Mike Richards. He took a wrist shot on net that bounced right to Briere, who put the puck past a helpless Miller.
The goal brought Briere’s point total for the series to seven (six goals, one assist), and typifies his continued dominance against his former team. Briere played five seasons with the Sabres before signing with the Flyers at the start of the 2007 season.
Van Riemsdyk continued his coming out party against the Sabres, tipping in his fourth goal of the series off a Claude Giroux shot. Also getting an assist on the play was Chris Pronger, his first point in his second game of the series.
Having Pronger healthy is certainly imperative to the Flyers success as they surge forward in the Stanley Cup playoffs. After playing just over four minutes in Game 6, Pronger logged over 17 minutes of ice time in Game 7.
Leino scored early in the third period to all but finalize the contest, sending the home crowd of 19,966 at the Wells Fargo Center into a frenzy.
Myers scored halfway through the third period to break Boucher’s shutout. He deposited his second career playoff goal into an empty net after a beautiful feed from Drew Stafford.