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Sabres Stats: Game by game

I've heard a bit in the past two days about the Sabres record in a playoff when they lose Game Three. I figured I'd go back at 2010 and see just how predictive each game of a playoff series was.

As it turns out, Game Three is the least reliable barometer. Teams that won Game Three in 2010 only won 6 of 15 series. Here's the game-by-game breakdown:

Game 1 - 7-8

Game 2 - 11-4

Game 3- 6-9

Game 4 - 12-3

Game 5 - 10-3

Game 6 - 10-1

Game 7 - 4-0

I didn't need a calculator to figure out that teams that won Game Seven do really well in the series.

-- Budd Bailey

Pronger improving but still out

Chris Pronger continues to improve and took several wrist shots during the Flyers' pregame skate today. He's not playing tonight in Game Four but it's looking much more likely that he will, in fact, play in this series. In fact, there's plenty of chatter in the Flyers' locker room that Game Five is a distinct possibility if the Sabres pull even in the series tonight.

I've felt all along, however, that the Flyers' goal in this series has been to get through it without using Pronger at all if that's possible. If they take a 3-1 lead, they're getting very close to that goal.

As is his custom, coach Peter Laviolette would not provide any clues. The Flyers ferret all injury updates through GM Paul Holmgren rather than Laviolette.

"Just having Chris on the ice is always a positive," Laviolette said. "I can't shed absolutely any light [on his status]. Not allowed."

As for Game Four, it's a huge game for the Flyers. Take a 3-1 lead in Buffalo and they might not have to come back here for Game Six on Easter Sunday.

"I'm not sure how the game will be played but we're looking at it as an opportunity, as a big game for us to get a chance to get that third win," Laviolette said.  "We want to make sure we're ready to play, establish our game and do what we need to do to be succesful."

To hear more from Laviolette on the Flyers' playoff experience, dealing with the Sabres' use of defensemen in the rush, the penalty-killers on both sides, and the playoff magic of Danny Briere, click below.

Peter Laviolette

---Mike Harrington

A rare lead would help Sabres in Game Four

The Buffalo Sabres aren't only trailing the Flyers in the series, they've been trailing them in the games. The Sabres have held the lead for just 14:48 during the first three outings, with Game Four tonight. Obviously, a lead would be nice.

"What’s going to be important for us is getting the first goal," Sabres defenseman Chris Butler said. "We’ve given up the first goal the last couple of games and allowed them to take some momentum early. It’s something to focus on in Game Four."

Coach Lindy Ruff said following this morning's optional skate that a lead will bring better-quality chances. The Flyers would be forced to take chances, which would open opportunities for Buffalo. Ruff is wary of Philly's counterattack, and the Flyers have been impressive while in front in both limiting Buffalo's chances and creating their own.

"We’ve just got to come out harder, initiate and try to go get the first one," defenseman Mike Weber said. "We’ve been playing extremely well with the lead the past three months. If we go out there, play hard and try to get the first one, I think we’ll be all right."

The Sabres will be without defenseman Andrej Sekera but will get right wing Patrick Kaleta back after he left Game Three with an upper-body injury. Mark Mancari will again be scratched, with Ruff saying while he liked the offense that Mancari, Paul Gaustad and Nathan Gerbe brought during their time together, the line gave up too many chances to be used.

To hear Ruff chat about Tyler Myers' need for patience, the penalty-killing of both teams, Ryan Miller's game and Danny Briere's playoff success, click the audio below.

---John Vogl

Game Four: Take your pick

Greetings from HSBC Arena, where the Sabres are just about to start their morning skate. Unless the Sabres win this series against the Flyers, this will be the final morning skate in Buffalo until October.

(Even if they go to Game Six at home, it's an afternoon game so there won't be a morning workout.)

While pondering that and the absence of spring hockey (seriously, what's with this weather?), here are a couple of quick polls for you.

---John Vogl

While you slept, Sharks reverse Kings' famous '82 miracle with huge comeback win

The Miracle on Manchester is widely viewed as the greatest comeback in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It came in 1982 at the old Inglewood Forum (which was on Manchester Avenue) as the Los Angeles Kings wiped out a 5-0 third-period deficit against the Wayne Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers and won Game Three of their playoff series in overtime, 6-5.

Here's a great video retrospective of that one:

We had a modern-day miracle take place late last night and, 29 years later, karma from the hockey gods went against the Kings in a Game Three at home. Now playing downtown at the Staples Center, the Kings blew a 4-0 lead in the second period and lost to the San Jose Sharks, 6-5, on Devin Setoguchi's goal at 3:09 of overtime.

It was just the fourth time in NHL history a team won a playoff game trailing by at least four goals and the first time since the Minnesota North Stars pulled the feat in 1985 against Chicago.

Oddly enough, Setoguchi said he saw the NHL's "History Will Be Made" commercial about the 1982 game on the locker room TV. Then the Sharks pulled off their own stunner. (You can see the commercial at this link).

The Sharks lost Game Two, 4-0, and gave up the first four goals in this one. They looked cooked. But they roared back after making a goalie change to Antero Nittymaki. The Kings, meanwhile, have to find a way to overcome the nightmare.

Here's's full highlight package on the game. Great stuff.

---Mike Harrington

Update: Ennis misses practice

Sabres winger Tyler Ennis was not on the ice when the Sabres began practice today in preparation for Game Four against the Flyers. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said afterward that Ennis and veteran Mike Grier were given "maintenance" days to rest their bodies.

Patrick Kaleta returned to the ice after he was sidelined in the first period of the Flyers' 4-2 victory in Game Three. The Sabres did not disclose details of his injury. Kaleta said he wore a full cage during the workout because he was suffering from a cold. Broken nose? Bruised jaw? Take a guess. Kaleta said he expected to play Game Four.

Defensemen Andrej Sekera and Shaone Morrisonn also were among the missing. Both missed the third game of the best-of-seven series with upper-body injuries.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was forced to juggle his lines for the abbreviated workout today.

They were:

Thomas Vanek-Tim Connolly-Jason Pominville

Nathan Gerbe-Paul Gaustad-Brad Boyes

Cody McCormick-Rob Niedermayer-Drew Stafford

Mark Mancari-Derek Roy-Kaleta.

Don't get your hopes up about Roy. He's still likely several weeks away from being ready to play in a game.

--- Bucky Gleason


Sounds from the Sabres' locker room

Here are the comments of some Sabres following the 4-2 loss to the Flyers in Game Three:

Ryan Miller

Drew Stafford

Jordan Leopold

Lindy Ruff

---Mike Harrington

Vote for your three stars

Live from the Arena: Sabres-Flyers Game Three

Greetings again from high atop HSBC Arena as I've escaped the snow and expect to give you my nightly pearls of wisdom on Game Three of the Sabres-Flyers series. The folks here have been diligent to get their Internet service upgraded -- in hockey terms, they've been performing desperate IT work -- and we should be good to go, with no repeat of the trainwreck we endured Saturday in the Wells Fargo Center.

(Memo to the Flyers: Make a call across the street to the Phillies to see how your system should work. Was in the press box at Citizens Bank Park for five hours Friday night and never had a single issue).

OK, enough about me and our issues up here. This is all about hockey and it should be a wild one. The first postseason game under Terry Pegula. The Sabres haven't lost two in a row since Pegula took over and the Flyers haven't won two straight since Chris Pronger got hurt. Pronger isn't playing tonight so something is going to give in that regard.

Be sure to check our archive of tonight's live chat -- and remember to join us Wednesday night at 7 prior to the 7:30 faceoff for Game Five.

Enough talk. Game On.

---Mike Harrington

Pregame video: Very nice job. Started with scenes from the '75 finals and continued through the Sabres-Flyers postseason matchups. Big cheers for Campbell-Umberger, for the Snow-Shields goalie and Barnaby-Snow fights. Big boos for Briere's double-OT goal in 2006.

Pregame video II: Lots of great highlights of the Pegula era, noting "16 wins to get in, 16 wins to the Cup"

Scratches: Sekera-Morrisonn official for Buffalo. Bobrovsky-Nodl-Prongerr-Shelley for the Flyers. 

Flyers starters: Carcillo-Powe-Betts-O'Donnell-Meszaros. Goal: Boucher.
Sabres starters: Niedermayer-McCormick-Grier-Weber-Gragnani. Goal: Miller.

So much for Lindy's lines this morning, I guess?

Third Period

Of note: Gragnani has assists on both goals and now leads NHL playoff scorers with four. He leads the Sabres tonight in ice time at 15:46. Easily the best blueliner tonight. ... Sabres have a 26-18 edge in faceoffs. ... Gerbe has played only 8:28. I'd like to see him more. 

9:05 p.m.: The puck is dropped. And it's Gaustad centering Gerbe and Boyes.

19:19 left: Gaustad for interference, dumping a Flyer to the corner away from Miller.

17:36 left: Timonen for holding. Great job by Pominville forcing the issue in the Flyers' zone killing the penalty a few seconds after Stafford did likewise.

17:25 left: Boyes stopped in front.

17:17 left: Another Butler giveaway nearly spells disaster for the Sabres. No shot.

16:39 left: Ennis stopped on a Boyes feed. Sabres much better down low in this period.

15:25 left: Nothing else on the power play.

15:21 left: Boucher with a save on a Leopold shot. It's 4-1 for Buffalo in the period and 30-22 overall. Boucher has stopped 48 of 51 in the two games he's played. 

14:21 left: Boucher with the save on Ennis from in front after good work in the corner by Myers.

13:46 left: Sabres back to the power play as Zherdev goes for hooking Boyes after a great Ennis feed.

13:01 left: Powe goes for a vicious charge of Gragnani into the goalpost. Great play a few seconds earlier by Connolly to keep the puck in. Timeout, Lindy. Sabres up two men for 1 minute, 15 seconds. AND IF THE FANS IN FRONT OF ME DON'T STOP POUNDING THE WALL AND SHAKING THE LAPTOP, IT'S GONNA BE GO TIME. SECURITY!

12:07 left: Boucher mask is off and he gets a whistle after he takes an Ennis shot to the face. Nice timing. Better than Enroth in Carolina. Vanek wide, Pominville blocked earlier on the 2-man. 

11:00 left: Flyers survive. Boucher's floppy mask was a huge help.

9:20 left: Niedermayer, who has been good again, just wide with the wrister on a 3-on-2.

8:30 left: Flyers in hold-on mode. Shots are 8-2 for Buffalo in the period.

5:03 left: They just announced the plaza attendace is 5,000+. Wow. It's cold out there. Cool video board shots of the folks.

2:37 left: Flyers holding on, trying to win a game with just six shots on goal the last 23 minutes.

1:26 left: Puck to the netting above Miller. Faceoff in Buffalo zone.

1:10 left: Faceoff to Boucher's right. Miller out. 

17.8 left: Sabres with some pressure but Flyers get it out and Timonen hits the empty net. Just too many mistakes in this one. Flyers lead, 4-2.

It's over: Flyers gut out a 4-2 win and Buffalo has lost two straight for the first time in the Pegula era. Philly leads series, 2-1. Game Four on Wednesday is basically a must-win now. Final shots were 37-26 for Buffalo (11-5 in the third). A 35-save night for Boucher.

Second Period

Of note: Vogl wants to know (and I concur) why in the world the first song of the intermission is "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys. Appropriate title. God only knows why you'd play that one now. How about some pounding music to keep the momentum going? Did fans pick that one on Boo...Gaustad led the Sabres with four shots and Stafford had three. Only three Flyers had shots -- Van Riemsdyk (3), Carter (2) and Carle (1). ...Flyers blocked 10 shots. Buffalo attempted 30, Philly just 11. ... Sabres dominated on faceoffs, 14-6. ... Gragnani leads NHL rookies in playoff points (3) tied for NHL playoff lead in assists (3).

8:06 p.m.: The puck is dropped. Kaleta is not on the bench.

17:40 left: The Sabres announce Kaleta has an upper-body and will not return. He certainly got whiplashed into the boards on the hit by Coburn. The Angola kid has had a tough, tough season. Can't stay healthy.

17:16 left: We have a Briere sighting in the worst way possible. Right off a faceoff, Butler brutally overskates the puck and Hartnell feeds it in front to an open Briere. Goal. Flyers lead, 2-1, even though they're geting outshot, 18-8.

16:39 left: Richards drills one off the post past a beaten Miller after Weber gives it away behind the net. Brutal. Defense showing its age in this period. The goal was a real shame for Butler, who has been a stud in this period.

15:03 left: Best save of the night by Miller, on a Zherdev one-timer from the slot.

13:48 left: Grier with another big hit, on Carle. The old horse has been a force thus far. 

11:34 left: Connolly passes on a 2-on-1 and a chance is lost.. Shoot!!!

11:00 left: Boucher stops a streaking Gerbe on the backhand.

10:15 left: Briere undresses Butler and gets in alone but Miller makes the save.

9:40 left: This is a much better period for the Flyers. They're winning more battles and finding more room to work. Shots are 7-6 for Philly and the crowd has again been taken out of it.

6:28 left: Myers for cross-checking. Drove Carle nearly into Boucher. 

5:40 left: Hartnell and Weber go for roughing after a scrum in the corner. Weber worked him over pretty good with some crosschecks to the back too.

4:11 left: Miller stops Leino from in front after Gragnani gave it away on the boards. 

Check out video from the Party in the Plaza hosted by Tyler Dunne and produced by Lauren Mariacher. 

3:16 left: Another giveaway, another Flyers goal. Montador makes the mistake and Richards finds Zherdev at the edge of the crease for an easy tap-in. Flyers lead, 3-1.Shots are 12-6 for Philly in this period.

1:48 left: Weber bad giveaway and richards barely misses the 4-1 goal but the Sabres come down and Gerbe rips home a brutally long and soft rebound handed to him by Boucher on a Connolly wrister. That's a terrible goal to give up in that spot. Flyers lead, 3-2.

1:07 left: Huge save by Miller on Timmonen off a great Briere feed as the trailer on what was a 2-on-1 turned into a 3-on-1. 

End-2nd: McCormick and Boyes just miss getting the equalizer in the final 35 seconds. Sabres down, 3-2, after 40 minutes but probably deserve to be down by much monre. Shots were 15-10 for Philly in that period and 26-21 for Buffalo through two.

First Period

7:11 p.m.: The puck is dropped. The crowd is juiced, in more ways than one. 

18:15 left: Leopold is out there with Montador. Shots are 2-0 for the Flyers. 

16:34 left: Montador with the first shot by Buffalo and Leopold gets the rebound all the way near the line and drills it for another save. Good test of Leopold's wrist.

16:20 left: Kaleta for roughing, a brutally stupid penalty to take. Miller had the puck, a few players were around him and he just drilled Powe in the back. No reason for that. 

15:18 left: The Flyers convert as Carter beats Miller from the right circle for his first point of the series. His shoot-in went off Weber and careened right back to him. I want my $6 million goalie to stop that shot. Flyers lead, 1-0, as the Kaleta penalty really hurts.

13:49 left: Miller stops Carter at nearly the same spot as the goal.

13:28 left: Shots are 5-2 Philly and the Flyers have exactly the scenario they wanted -- the first goal and a quiet crowd. Sabres appear tight, almost nervous, from the opening faceoff.

As for the lines, McCormick-Niedermayer-Grier started followed by Vanek-Connolly-Pominville, Gerbe-Gaustad-Kaleta. Niedermayer then went between Ennis and Stafford with Boyes, in fact, going between McCormick and Grier. On defense, it's Gragnani-Weber, Butler-Myers and Montador-Leopold.

11:45 left: Good hit by Grier on Hartnell. But where is the Sabres' energy? And where is the energy in this crowd? Sorry, people. It was way-way-way-way-way-way louder in Philly. No comparison. I don't get it. 

10:08 left: Boucher stops Gaustad, who comes out of the corner with the puck but doesn't have much of an angle. Shots are 6-4 for the Flyers approaching the halfway mark of the period.

9:20 left: Great shift by Boyes-McCormick-Grier. McCormick had the best chance, a backhand from the slot that Boucher stopped. It gets the crowd back.

8:43 left: Coburn goes for drilling Kaleta behind the net (gets an interference call), and Kaleta is slow off the ice and headed to the dressing room.

8:05 left: And the Sabres answer on the power play with a badly-needed snapshot by Stafford from the slot of a Pominville feed. The "Dreeewwww" calls are out and so are the white pom-poms. Game tied, 1-1. And here come the "Bou-chay, Bou-chay" chants.

6:00 left: Just a thought: Has Danny Briere even been on the ice? Not a single boo because he hasn't touched the puck.

5:18 left: Great save by Boucher off Gaustad at the doorstep, holding the puck just outside the goalline. Sabres and crowd really coming on. Shots were 10-6 for Buffalo. Kid just held up a sign "I hate cheesesteaks". He apparently was picked by the Pegula daughters outside on the plaza to get tickets. Hmmm. I happen to love 'em, especially at Jim's. But whatever.

4:39 left: Sabres avert disaster. Van Riemsdyk gets the puck past Leopold and gets the puck through Miller's legs -- but it goes wide of the post. Kaleta, by the way, is not on the bench.

3:21 left: Hartnell gets a double minor for interference and delay of game (pushing the net off on a good chance for Butler). Huge chance.

End-1st: Sabres all over Philly on the PP but can't convert. They had five shots on goal -- and Connolly fanned on a point-blanker in the final three seconds. Shots in the period ended up 16-6 for the Sabres. And remember, it was 5-2 for Philly after 6 1/2 minutes. Flyers clearly saved by the bell in this one. Still have to kill off 39 seconds. The Sabres have done a great job on the PP the whole period of taking control of the puck in the Philly zone. No complaints. No. 1 star so far is Boucher. That's a problem when the one Flyers goal is a bad one on Miller.

Pregame chat with News hockey reporters begins at 6:30 p.m.

Boucher in goal for Flyers, Bobrovsky No. 3

No surprise that Brian Boucher was the first goalie off the ice for the Flyers following their pregame skate and he will get the call tonight after getting the win in Game Two in relief. What was a surprise was that Michael Leighton had a stall in the locker room and Sergei Bobrovsky was basically relegated to the closet.

That means that Leighton, who stopped the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals last year, will be the backup tonight and Bobrovsky is the No. 3 man and will not dress. Coach Peter Laviolette confirmed Boucher was his starter but would not comment on his backup.

"I thought Brian came in his last couple times and has done a really nice job for us in there," Laviolette said. "He's on top of his game, in charge of his net, bailed us out of a couple situations and I really feel he deserves to play."

GM Paul Holmgren said Andreas Nodl (facial injury) is out tonight and it's expected Nikolay Zhredev will be his replacement.

Hear Laviolette's session below.

---Mike Harrington

Peter Laviolette

Leopold might return tonight

Rumblings in HSBC Arena this morning were that the Sabres might get a boost tonight on the blue line.

Jordan Leopold, who led Buffalo defensemen with 13 goals, could possibly return to the lineup for the first time since breaking his hand March 25, The News has learned.

--Bucky Gleason

Pronger out but Flyers deny change in status

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren met with the media and confirmed that Chris Pronger will be out again tonight, but Holmgren reacted angrily with a Philadelphia TV report that Pronger has had another setback with his broken hand, a second break that required a plate to be put into his hand. 

"It seems people can throw anything they want at the wall and see if it sticks,"  Holmgren said. "He's not coming along as fast as everyone thought at the time the initial injury happened It is what it is. When he feels like he can play, he'll play."

Pronger, who will not be speaking with the media until he plays, did have his longest skate with the team in quite a while today and even shot a few bucks. It was the most encouraging sign the Flyers have seen that he might play in this series.

"Prongs looks good on the ice," said coach Peter Laviolette. "He's been skating for a while so his skating is good. He moved the puck around and was involved in our drill. That's the first time that he's been out there with us."

--Mike Harrington

Two line changes expected for Sabres

The Sabres will host the Flyers for Game Three tonight with two new looks on the forward lines. Brad Boyes is expected to drop down from his spot as the second-line center to play with Cody McCormick and Mike Grier; both McCormick and Boyes can play center and wing. Rob Niedermayer is moving up to play center for left wing Tyler Ennis and right wing Drew Stafford.

"The guys that I’m looking to be going with, it’s going to be good," said Boyes, who hasn't scored in 13 games. "We’re going to get it in, forecheck and play in their zone. It’s more meat-and-potatoes, which is nice."

Coach Lindy Ruff said following today's morning skate that Boyes needs to get inside more. Boyes says the new linemates will drive him there.

"It will force me to go there, put pucks at the net," Boyes said. "That’s where they’re going to put the puck, and it’s a simple game. That’s good sometimes. You need that just to get back to basics if things aren’t going well. You want to keep it simple, and this will be a good line to do that.

"I feel I can definitely chip in, get things going, and I think tonight’s the night, for myself, that I’m looking to do that."

The Sabres, of course, are looking forward to facing the Flyers in front of the Buffalo fans.

"We know that they’re going to be excited, just as we are," Niedermayer said. "We’ve just got to control our emotions early on in the game, and hopefully that works for us."

Here Ruff's pregame session with the media below.

Lindy Ruff

---John Vogl

Flyers update: Pronger out again, Boucher likely in

The Flyers had an optional skate of their own Sunday morning in Voorhees, N.J. before coming to Buffalo. Injured defenseman Chris Pronger did not skate but did make the trip here. He's still not practicing with the team and will not play in Game Three. As each day passes with Pronger not practicing, you wonder if he's going to play in this series at all. The latest word is the team is holding out hope for Game Four on Wednesday. We'll see.

In goal, Sergei Bobrovsky was on the ice taking extra work Sunday after getting pulled in the first period Saturday. Brian Boucher took the day off, a sign that he's likely getting the start Monday. Boucher stopped 20 of 21 shots after coming in with the Flyers in a 3-2 hole.

Forward Andreas Nodl, limited to just 3:43 of ice time in Game Two due to an upper-body injury, may be out Monday and would be replaced by either healthy scratch Nikolay Zherdev or tough guy Jody Shelley, who has been out with a broken orbital bone.

---Mike Harrington

No excuses: Ruff says take fans energy and go play

The Sabres had an optional workout today in HSBC Arena. The chatter focused mostly on staying out of the penalty box and taking advantage of the atmosphere in the arena Monday night for Game Three against the Flyers.

Coach Lindy Ruff had a passionate set of answers for reporters standing at the podium in the arena interview room. Ruff said he's looking forward to having the energy from the fans feed his team. Of course, he wants his scorers on the ice and not on the bench while his special-teams units are killing penalties.

The Sabres were short-handed for an incredible 15 minutes, 49 seconds of Saturday's 5-4 loss and that hurt the ice time of players like Thomas Vanek, Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe. Ruff said those guys have to be ready to perform whenever called, even if it's been a while.

"I need every guy when they go on the ice to not have an excuse for not being involved," he said. "I don't care if you sit there for four minutes, five minutes. It's go out there, be ready, stand on the bench and do jumping jacks if you have to because you know the next shift might be the most important shift of the series. Let's throw all the excuses in the trash can and just say, Man this next shift I'm going to be the difference maker.' "

Ruff loves how this team has competed for the last four months. The Sabres have yet to lose two straight under Pegula and tomorrow would not be the time to start.

Joked Ruff: "We knew that we couldn't afford to go on any type of two-game, three-game little slide or I wouldn't be standing here and they wouldn't be in the dressing room and you guys would be doing baseball stories right now."

For Ruff's complete interview, including more thoughts on Terry Pegula and the new owner's first home playoff game, click below.

---Mike Harrington

Lindy Ruff

Postgame audio: Miller and Ruff

PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Miller lamented the penalties and said, despite their Broad Street Bullies reputation, the Flyers are a skill team. Coach Lindy Ruff is eager to get the Flyers to Buffalo and doesn't mind that his team went too far tonight. Hear them both below.

---John Vogl

Ryan Miller


Lindy Ruff

They said it in the Sabres' locker room

PHILADELPHIA -- Quotes from the Sabres following their 5-4 loss to the Flyers.

Lindy Ruff

General comment: "There was a lot of emotion in the building.  They got a couple breaks on tipped shots that helped them get the lead.  I like where our club is at.  I like their competitiveness and their battle back.  I love everything about what they have done and the young defensemen what they have done in this building.  We get to go back home with a split.”

On the rash of penalties: "I think we did get a little bit too jacked up.  Sometimes you get those calls and sometimes you don’t get those calls.  Like I said, it was a great hockey game. There was a lot of emotion in that game and we knew they were going to be desperate.  I thought our response was a little too far, but I’d like to take it too far than not enough.  I would love them to do so in our building."

On the animosity building between the teams: "It was an awesome display of emotion tonight.  It is what the playoffs are all about.  We have some guys that were able to taste that for the first time and they handled it pretty damn good.  I am proud of the emotion that they fought through.  I am not upset that we took it a little too far because the response is what we were looking for and they came back at them hard.”

Ryan Miller

On constantly killing penalties: "Not good for us, no matter what you think about the game.  Not good.  There were too many guys sitting around having to wait and too many guys wasting energy that could be used for other elements of the game.  We took the penalties and we have to look at ourselves.  We have to move forward.”

On emotions going overboard: "That is exactly what these guys [the Flyers] want to do.  They want to get you to a certain point, but they are not going to get involved in all the scrums.  Hartnell and Goose (Paul Gaustad) had a tilt, but that’s about it.  I mean that is all you are going to get out of a night.  I don’t think anyone wants to try Cody [McCormick] right now.  They are all about putting it out there and getting a reaction.  Unfortunately we reacted, I wouldn’t say in a bad way because I don’t mind that we are into the game and a little bit ticked, but we took it a little too far with some of that.  You have to ignore it.  You can’t retaliate, you have to instigate.  I think that was the difference.”

Jason Pominville

On a close loss: "It’s unfortunate; we had an opportunity to leave here with two [wins]. Early on, I think our power play did a really good job and got us to where we wanted to be. We weren’t able to work it as good after that. We leave here with a split. I thought we competed and worked hard at the end, had an opportunity to get ourselves back in the game. Leaving here with a win is definitely fun, could have left with two but that’s what playoffs are all about.”

On the rash of penalties: "We’re making it harder on ourselves definitely by taking that many penalties and I think we did a good job overall. When you give a team that many opportunities at it, that many cracks at it, eventually they will probably make you pay. I still think overall, our penalty killers did a pretty good job tonight; they kept us in there.”

Sound from the Flyers' locker room

PHILADELPHIA -- Some audio from around the Flyers' locker room after their 5-4 win over the Sabres.

Danny Briere

Brian Boucher

Ville Leino

Vote for your three stars

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |