If that game could be described in one word, frustrating would be my choice. The Flyers had plenty of chances, but just couldn't bury them. Ryan Miller made 29 saves on 31 shots and the Sabres scored two power play goals, enough to pull out the win.
As mentioned in the game thread, the Sabres second goal was purely Ray Emery's fault. He lost track of the puck behind the net, got caught on the opposite post, and was unable to recover in time. After that goal made it 2-0, the Flyers dominated play until Danny Briere got called for a four-minute high-stick, where Paul Gaustad had a beautiful deflection to put the Sabres up 3-1.
Even with Jeff Carter's short-handed goal with nine and a half minutes remaining, the Flyers were unable to come back and tie the game.
It's the day after and I tried to forget the game immediately, so here are just a few random thoughts:
- It's not that the Flyers didn't play hard, or didn't show up tonight - they did - but Richards, Carter, Carle, and Timonen's shift that led to Carter's shortie was inspiring. It makes you wonder how good this team would be if they played like that for 60 minutes.
- Last game, I singled out Richards for having a bad night. Tonight, I single out Carter. He got the shortie, but it was after a couple of whacks in front of the net. It also went off a Sabre's leg, who had his back to the play. I don't want to say he's snakebitten, but he had the same problems Richards did - pucks bouncing over his stick and passes being intercepted.
- Just like Richards last game, Blair Betts won 67% of his faceoffs, but one he lost directly led to Gaustad's goal.
- The Flyers dominated the face-off circle tonight, winning 63% (36 of 57) of the draws.
- Riley Cote played 4:19 tonight. That's a season-high. I know there are two doors on the bench, but I didn't know we needed two doormen. David Laliberte anyone?
- Speaking of low ice-time, Arron Asham only played 6:46. His game log shows some interesting ice times...
- Oskars Bartulis only played 13:58, finished a -1 (on Emery's mistake), but impressed me once again. When OKT returns, I wouldn't be surprised if Danny Syvret takes a drive up north.
- The officiating tonight was certainly strange. Powe's hook call was avoidable but borderline, Carcillo's cross-check was weak, and both Parent and Carter's slashing calls were questionable. At least Pronger and Richards picked up on the mood of the officials, both having their sticks "slashed" out of their hands. At least they were consistent.
After the jump, Highlights, Questions with Answers, and the Comment of the Night
Questions To Answer
- How much ice time does Riley Cote get if, in fact, JVR doesn't play? 4:19. A season high!
- Can the Flyers beat Ryan Miller for the second time in just over a week? No. Buffalo played a solid defensive game, and while Miller didn't stand on his head, he did play well.
- How does Mika Pyorala play up on a top line, and can he finally pot his first goal? He played well, but still couldn't put one in. I'm beginning to think he's a strong defensive forward with very little scoring touch. Also, his passes just couldn't find their way to the target.
- Does the Carcillo-Betts-Laperriere line dominate the game as they did last Friday in Buffalo? Another good game, but they just couldn't get into a rhythm.
Comment of the Night
I feel like I have been blue-balled all night. Teasing me with all these chances but I just can’t get my nut!