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Special teams lead Flyers to 3-1 preseason victory over Sabres

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PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 01:  Drew Stafford #21 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against Erik Gustafsson #27 of the Philadelphia Flyers on October 1 2010 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 01: Drew Stafford #21 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against Erik Gustafsson #27 of the Philadelphia Flyers on October 1 2010 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Penalties defined Friday night's final home preseason contest between the Flyers and the Sabres. The Flyers scored two power play goals en route to a 3-1 victory, while also taking seven minor penalties in the process. At the same time, Buffalo took eight minors of their own.

The penalty kill was generally fantastic, though, and what's the old saying? Your goalie is your most important penalty killer? That was the truth tonight, and Brian Boucher lived up to it. He had a fantastic game and is quietly making us feel a little more comfortable with Michael Leighton out of the lineup.

On to the bullets...

- You could tell tonight's game was a lot faster than the other preseason games have been. It felt like a real NHL game, and it makes sense considering both rosters were just about at full strength.

- Nik Zherdev put Nathan Gerbe in a headlock in the first period before he threw him down to the ice. That was pretty awesome, regardless of the fact that Gerbe's a tiny little punk. Later, he scored his fifth goal of the preseason. It was ugly, but ugly ones still count.

- CSN looks like they're going to be running ads on the glass behind each goal this season, much like MSG has done on Rangers broadcasts in the past. They're ugly, distracting and obnoxious, but we're probably going to have to get used to them. Be thankful we're not in Europe.

- During the game, we took an informal poll on Twitter: if Chris Pronger is going to miss the opener, who do we want filling in out of Erik Gustafsson, Marc-Andre Bourdon and Matt Walker? The overwhelming response: Gustafsson, and it's not too hard to understand why. He's seen a ton of playing time and there have been some growing pains, but on the whole, he's made an impression. That's obvious, of course, seeing how much time he's played next to Kimmo Timonen.

- James van Riemsdyk scored a gritty goal in the second period, and that's a sentence that feels good writing. He fought off a defenseman in front while off-balance and still was able to corral the puck and beat Ryan Miller. It was a great example of how he's gained strength over the summer.

- Still not thrilled with Andrej Meszaros, or the thought of him filling in on the top pairing if Pronger isn't ready to start the season. Derek Roy's lone Sabre goal can be blamed on him walking around the Flyer defenseman, and late in the third a Meszaros brain fart led to a very solid chance for the Sabres to tie what was then a one-goal game.

- Ville Leino and Jeff Carter had some serious chemistry going. I'm starting to think Leino's magic last season with Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere was less just general "they love playing with each other" and more "Ville is just absolutely incredible."

- Sure, it's preseason and it doesn't mean a damn thing, but 5-1-1 still feels pretty awesome.

After the jump, the comment of the night.

Comment of the Night

hey guys.. is this game online anywhere? im at work right now (at comcast go figure) and the tv by me is broke lol

>> mincxubusc66, because a broken TV at the cable co. is hilarious