Greetings from HSBC Arena as the world is back to normal now that the Worlds have left Buffalo. The Sabres' anniversary logo is back at center ice, the normal board ads adorn the rink, the semicircle goal crease is gone, the competing nations' flags are down from the rafters, the obnoxious Canadian fans are back across the Peace Bridge and -- perhaps most important -- the Russians are back in Moscow. Whew.
It's the Sabres and Eastern Conference-leading Flyers tonight and faceoff is in the 7:40 range thanks to Versus, which obviously doesn't give a hoot about deadlines of your friendly blogger/ink-stained wretch.
First bit of news (no, not about Terry Pegula): Nathan Gerbe is in the lineup tonight. Looks like the scratches are Luke Adam, Chris Butler and the injured Patrick Kaleta as the Sabres continue to go with seven defensemen. Frankly, I wouldn't play one-goal-in-24-games Gerbe over Adam but they know best, right? Yeesh.
Rick Jeanneret is back tonight with Harry Neale but they will be radio only as Versus tells stories and ignores the play calls the game. Keep it here for the latest.
Sabres starters: Ennis-Hecht-Stafford-Myers-Sekera. Goal: Miller.
Flyers starters: Hartnell-Briere-Leino-Coburn-Timonen. Goal: Bobrovsky
9:26 p.m.: Game on.
18:40 left: Sabres do nothing on the power play and the time expires.
17:43 left: The Flyers go ahead as Ville Leino pots Briere's rebound after Myers loses the puck at center ice. Might be a kick with the left skate. Under review. Goal stands. Looked like Leino moved his right skate and the puck hit the left. Flyers lead, 3-2. Third point for Briere.
16:37 left: Flyers buzzing. Have a 5-1 edge in shots. Wonder if Ruff is pondering his timeout right now.
9:30 left: Print editions calling but we seem to have that under control now. It's still 3-2. Shots are 11-6 Philly in this period.
8:39 left: Good rush by Ennis but Bobrovsky with the save on Buffalo's 36th shot. Flyers have 27.
8:24 left: Good night. Terrible giveaway at the Flyers' line by Sekera and Mike Richards goes all the way in alone. Burns Miller on the backhand. Flyers lead, 4-2.
Flyers win 5-2 -- empty netter by Hartnell with 1:55 left.
8:31 p.m. The puck is dropped.
15:21 left: Good start for the Sabres as they have the only three shots. Sekera did a good job lugging the puck on one rush coast to coast but Connolly blew that opportunity.
14:32 left: Leopold for hooking and it's a good thing. Van Riemsdyk had a wide-open net on a rebound but Leopold hooked him down.
13:13 left: Miller's best save, a sprawling dive on a Jeff Carter rebound. That had to hurt the groin a little, just for the record.
12:30 left: Miller helps Buffalo survive that one. Flyers' power play has been dominant in its two chances so far.
9:50 left: Shots are 20-13 for Buffalo and here comes the Kisscam. Told ya. Boo. Out of town, the Bruins are crushing the Senators, 5-0, in Boston. When is the end coming in Ottawa for GM Bryan Murray and coach Cory Clouston? It has to be near.
8:46 left: How many shots is McCormick getting in this game? He just cut in front from the left boards and forced Bobrovsky to make another save. That's eight shots on goal for No. 8.
8:10 left: The Gaustad line is driving the Flyers crazy. And after-the-whistle stuff has the Sabres on the power play as Andrej Meszaros takes a silly roughing penalty going after Gaustad.
6:01 left: Decent possession in the zone, not too many chances as the penalty expires. Shots are 10-3 for the Sabres in this period.
5:37 left: Good slugfest after the whistle between Gaustad and Hartnell, who clearly went looking for him. They'll get five apiece.
3:56 left: Some 4-on-4 hockey as Timonen goes for grabbing Ennis in front of the net but Ennis got unsportsmanlike conduct for diving. Hmmm.
2:10 left: Miller robs Matt Carle in the slot after Carter manhandles Weber behind the net to get the puck out front.
1:49 left: The famous Briere windmill after the ex-Sabres captain gets his 22nd to tie the game at 2-2. A bad break as McCormick's back pass at center ice went by Montador and sent the Flyers away as Timonen jumped the puck coming out of the penalty box and Briere took his rebound. Shots are 14-6 in the period for Buffalo and 28-16 in the game but it's game tied 2-2.
46.4 left: Coburn for holding.
End-2nd: It's 2-2. Shots were 15-6 for Buffalo and are 29-16 through two periods.
7:40 p.m: The puck is dropped (thanks for nothing, Versus). Both teams in their retros. Flyers have the white with orange that brings back 70s nightmares and has me looking for the ghosts of Orest Kindrachuk, Don Saleski, Bob Kelly and Dave Schultz. This is, by the way, the 35th anniversary of their win over the Red Army -- the game the Russians temporarily walked off the ice to protest the Bullies' rough play.
15:00 left: The Sabres take the lead on a rebound goal by Gaustad. Myers let go a drive from the point, McCormick was stopped on the backhand on a rebound and Gaustad finally pounded it home. Sabres lead, 1-0. A minute earlier, Bobrovsky had robbed Ennis on a 3-on-1 break.
13:30 left: Sabres skating well in this one. Shots are 8-3 in their favor. Miller made a good save early on Mike Richards from in tight and the Flyers have done nothing else.
12:30 left: Forget what I said about Gerbe. He's been a terror down low so far. Gerbe-Gaustad-McCormick all over the Flyers again with three more shots.
10:01 left: Gerbe has been a monster so far in wildly fast-moving period. Outworked the Flyers for the puck again and fired one wide from the slot but McCormick takes it off the backboards and banks it in off the back of Bobrovsky's right leg. Sabres lead, 2-0. Shots are 12-3.
7:34 left: Weber for interference as the Flyers are starting to get their legs and give the Sabres trouble in their own end since the second goal. The lines have been Ennis-Hecht-Stafford, Vanek-Connolly-Pominville, Gerbe-Gaustad-McCormick. Niedermayer and Grier floating with a double-shifting forward. Defense pairs are Myers-Sekera, Leopold-Montador, Morrisonn-Weber.
7:19 left: That didn't take long. Richards absolutely wipes out Hecht in the corner and Timonen's shot from the point is tipped home by Hartnell. Sabres lead, 2-1.
6:32 left: Finally a TV timeout. We've played 13 1/2 minutes in 21 minutes of real time. Lightning quick. There are no Terry Pegula sightings. He's not in the owner's box folks, so stop asking. He doesn't own the team. Yet. There are some folks in there but they could be contest winners or whoever. No one of note involved with running this operation.
2:31 left: A classic moment on the HD board? Very nice to see Mogilny's 76th vs. the Flyers in 1993. We've only waited a half season to get stuff like that in the 40th anniversary year instead of those ridiculous blooper reels. Applause from this end. About time. But I know the kisscam is looming.
1:27 left: Bobrovsky gets a piece of McCormick's laser from the slot, Buffalo's first shot in nearly nine minutes (the Flyers had six straight). Leopold then stopped from the point.
End-1st: Sabres lead, 2-1. Shots are 14-10.
taggedex-Sabres | Sabres game day