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Sabres Clinch, Flyers Get A Point, On To Game 82...Again

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[Box Score] -  [Game Page] - [Buffalo Reaction]
[Shift Charts] - [Head-to-Head TOI] - [Corsi and Fenwick] - [5-on-5 Faceoffs]

It won't be quite as dramatic as last year's Game 82, but the Flyers will once again need a win in the last game of the year against a team from New York. (Yes, this will surely be a popular sentence. Don't care.) With their overtime loss and Pittsburgh's shootout win, the Flyers magic number is two. They still control their own destiny for the Atlantic Division, but it's not as easy.

In all, this must be a great night for Gary Bettman. Both teams stopped playing with two minutes to go in the third as they both wanted one point more than two. And Pittsburgh got their tenth(!) shootout win on the year to put pressure on the Flyers.

With all of that said, the Flyers played a good game tonight. They came out strong, scoring on a Scott Hartnell goal off a beautiful feed from Danny Briere. The Sabres scored on the first shift of the second, then took a 2-1 lead roughly four minutes later. But a short-handed goal by Kris Versteeg and a Briere goal scored 39 seconds apart put the Flyers ahead.

One crazy spin-o-rama, backhand, top-shelf Nathan Gerbe goal later, and both teams decided to take advantage of the Bettman system. No fault there. Buffalo clinched a playoff spot with a point, so why not? But in overtime, Scott Hartnell wasted a great shift - and really, he beat Tyler Myers in at least one board battle - by blindly throwing the puck into the slot, leading to a Sabres rush. When Matt Carle hit the ice, the Sabres capitalized.

Oh well, try again tomorrow. Jump for Bullets, Questions with Answers, and Comment of the Night.

  • Matt Carle got three minutes more ice time than any other Flyer, finishing with 27:03. That's impressive.
  • Kimmo Timonen, meanwhile, ranked 4th among Flyers defenseman again, at 20:01. Resting for playoffs? Nursing an injury?
  • Lavy definitely rolled all 18 skaters tonight, with the lowest ice time being 9:04 (Dan Carcillo). No forward played 20 minutes, and only Claude Giroux hit 19. Wasn't he ramping up the top-6's ice time only a week ago?
  • Falling down aside, Matt Carle seriously needs to get more respect. He was second in Corsi for the night, first in ice time, and had more defensive zone starts than offensive.  He played most of the night with Danny Syvret, who also had another very solid game.  
  • While the Sabres didn't score at the end of the second, the Flyers twice let men get behind them. Not to mention Pominville's goal where four Flyers were staring at the puck. Yes, defense is a problem. Luckily, it's easily correctable, stupid, lazy mistakes.
  • Mike Richards was on the ice for both Gerbe goals. Carle and Andrej Meszaros were also on the ice for two goals against.
  • Sergei Bobrovsky had himself a fine game, even if he did get lucky on the Pominville breakaway.
  • Michael Leighton should not play tomorrow.

Questions with Answers

  1. How does Danny Briere look? Good. Quite good.
  2. Can Nikolay Zherdev keep up his high level of play? Eh. Quiet game for Zherdev. Played pretty well defensively, but not much offensively.
  3. The power play looked better in Ottawa, about the only decent portion of the game. More? HA! 0 for 1, zero shots on goal.
  4. After getting bitched out by Paul Holmgren, do the Flyers ratchet up the intensity level? No. But then yes. But then no again. So... no. Final answer.
  5. Can I buy a nice Atlantic Division champions shirt by the end of the night? No.

Comment of the Night

I love how we have to rec posts tonight. God forbid Detweiler take the time to read the blog he writes.

Pardini36 >>> Democracy sucks.