It's become tradition to have a home game on Black Friday each season. But looking for relief from the crowds at the mall, fans have frequently found disappointment inside the halls of Wachovia Center, as the Flyers have lost on the day after Thanksgiving each year since 2006. Nothing changed today as the injury-riddled Flyers fell to the Buffalo Sabres 4-2. It's the second time in just under two weeks that the Sabres have come into Philadelphia and wrestled a win away from the home team.
After taking an early lead on a Drew Stafford first period goal, the orange and black fought back late in the period. Mike Richards tied the score at one late on a beautiful pass by James van Riemsdyk, and then with about 30 seconds left, a point shot from Braydon Coburn deflected off a Buffalo player and past goaltender Ryan Miller. The momentum was completely changed in the Flyers favor.
So, naturally, as the second period opened, Buffalo captain Craig Rivet decided to try to change that. He took on Dan Carcillo in a pretty evenly matched bout, but the Flyer tough guy was pretty heated afterward. It takes a lot to keep Carcillo down, so it was no surprise that the next time he and Rivet were united on the ice, a fight broke out. Carcillo beat him down this time, but a late strike by Rivet after the linesman had already jumped in ticked him off even more. He went off on the official for allowing it, a move that quickly earned him a 10 minute misconduct. He was asked to head to the dressing room for the remainder of the second period after jawing at Rivet from the penalty box.
Paul Gaustad tied the game in the second period, and it was the Tim Connolly show in the third as he added two goals to give the Sabres the victory.
Some more thoughts on this one...
- Ian Laperriere is an absolute warrior. He took a Jason Pominville shot to the face in the second period and left the game to reportedly receive around 50 stitches in his upper lip. I've been hit with a puck in the lip and I needed eight stitches, and let me tell you -- that hurt. To return to the game after 50 stitches and a cut that looked like it completely severed his upper lip in two is unfathomable. But Lappy did it, taking three shifts in the third period with a cage on his helmet.
- Jared Ross was slammed into the boards by Patrick Kaleta in the first period. He had already passed the puck away when Kaleta leaped and drilled his head into the boards. He didn't return, but neither did Kaleta. He was handed a boarding major and a game misconduct, and you can fully expect the NHL to come down on him for this one. The good news: Ross will travel with the team to Atlanta.
- With Ross and Laperriere out and the Flyers bench slim at the forward position, Carcillo's 10 minute misconduct didn't help things. He was right in his argument to the official that led to the penalty, though, so it's hard to be too mad with him. I have a feeling Carcillo won't have a short memory about this one.
- The power play laid an egg today, going 0 for 5 in 9:14 with the man advantage. Not allowed.
- Mike Richards was an animal in the final few minutes. He had about six shots on goal with Ray Emery pulled from the Flyers net as the orange and black tried to tie the game. It was a futile effort, however, since Ryan Miller had an answer for everything the Flyers threw his way in the third.
- Despite the loss, Philadelphia's fourth in five games, the same problems that plagued the Flyers during their West Coast road trip did not lead to the loss today. Instead, today was a lot more similar to the Flyers last loss to the Sabres in that they didn't get much luck and that they just couldn't finish their chances. Miller didn't help the equation, either.
After the jump, questions with answers and the comment of the day.
Questions With Answers
- How much ice time does Riley Cote get today? Despite the Flyers short bench, Cote didn't see much ice, only played 5:38.
- The Flyers are better than the Sabres at even-strength play, on the penalty kill, and the power play. Can they show that's true today? I thought the teams matched up pretty evenly at even strength, but the Flyers couldn't get anything going on the PP.
- Do the Flyers show up today, or are they stuck between lazy off day and travel day? They certainly showed up. It just wasn't enough today. It happens.
- Does Ray Emery rebound from a bad road trip with a strong game today? He allowed four goals on 25 shots, but he didn't have a terrible game. Then again, he needed to outduel Ryan Miller to win this one, and that didn't happen.
Comment Of The Day
My Goodness, HE IS MY F’ING HERO!