NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Philadelphia |
(Monday, December 19th)
Final Score: Buffalo 2, Philadelphia 1 (SO)
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Maxim Afinogenov recorded the deciding
shootout goal to lift Buffalo over the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, at the
Paul Gaustad scored midway through the third period to force overtime and
goaltender Ryan Miller made 33 saves for the Sabres, who have won seven
straight and 12 of their last 13.
Mike Knuble had a goal for the Flyers and Peter Forsberg lit the lamp during
the shootout and also recorded an assist. Goaltender Antero Niittymaki stopped
27 of the 28 shots he faced for Philadelphia, which has dropped two of its
Forsberg tucked a backhand shot between Miller's pads to put the Flyers up 1-0
in the shootout. Niittymaki had a chance to give Philadelphia the win on the
ensuing sequence, but couldn't stop Tim Connolly's elevated backhander.
Then, after Jon Sim was denied by Miller, Afinogenov faked a shot, wound back
up and then ripped the puck above Niittymaki's left shoulder to put Buffalo
out in front. Knuble had a chance to extend the shootout but Miller denied him
to give the Sabres the win.
The Flyers took a 1-0 lead at the 4:25 mark of the first period on a power-
play goal by Knuble. Forsberg received a pass from Michal Handzus down low,
moved out just in front of the goal line and sent the disc across the crease
to Knuble, who released a shot. His initial try was denied by Miller but
Knuble got his own rebound and punched it home.
The Sabres evened the score with 12:48 remaining in the game. Afinogenov
gained the blue line and rushed down the left side before dropping a pass back
to Gaustad. The center wound up and fired a shot from between the circles that
beat Niittymaki high glove side.
The Flyers were awarded a power play with 2:08 to play in regulation after
Rory Fitzpatrick was whistled for tripping. Philadelphia created heavy
pressure in the final minutes, but were unable to capitalize.
Buffalo gained the extra-man advantage in overtime and nearly put the game
away with just under one minute remaining. Teppo Numminen's slap shot from the
point rang off the left post and the game went to the shootout.
The Sabres have now won nine straight games on the road...Starting Buffalo
goaltender Martin Biron had the night off. He has won 13 straight decisions,
and can become the first netminder to win 14 consecutive starts since
Pittsburgh's Tom Barrasso from March 9 to April 9, 1993...Buffalo, which is
12-5-0 on the road overall, will visit Florida on Thursday...Philadelphia
goaltender Robert Esche was a scratch and is expected to miss at least two
weeks with a groin injury...Philly's Sami Kapanen had his five-game point
12/19 22:19:55 ET