After some games, the Philadelphia Flyers leave their fans shaking their heads wondering how they just won a game. Tuesday night’s 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres was one of those games.
Scott Hartnell scored one goal and had two assists. He was named the first star of the game. Steve Mason made 19 saves.
Entering the final minute of the third period, it looked line the Sabres, who were 6-0-2 in their last eight games at the First Niagra Center, would gain another point on their home ice.
With less than 30 seconds to play, the Flyers darted into the Buffalo zone. Sean Couturier won a battle behind the net and made a pass to Kimmo Timonen at the blue line. Timonen’s shot was blocked, but the puck skittered to the stick of Vincent Lecavalier who fired a shot toward the net. Sabres goalie Jonas Enroth made the save, and the puck bounced to the side of the net where Matt Read scooped up the loose puck. Read found Lecavalier at the top of the left faceoff circle and swept a pass to him. Lecavalier shot the puck through four Sabres defenders to give the Flyers a 4-3 win with 14.2 seconds remaining on the third period clock. It was Lecavalier’s first goal in 13 games and his 10th of the season.
The Flyers and Sabres traded scoring chance after scoring chance for two periods, but the score was tied 1-1 going into the third period. After Matt D’Agostini put the Sabres up 2-1 with more than 13 minutes remaining, the game took on a new face in the final seven minutes.
Brayden Schenn scored with 6:32 left in the third period to tie the game. Schenn scored on a mad scramble in the Buffalo zone. Andrej Meszaros took a pass from Wayne Simmonds and fired a shot toward Sabres goaltender Enroth. Meszaros’ shot went wide, but the puck somehow found its way to the stick of Schenn.
Thanks to a goaltender interference penalty on Zenon Konopka, the Flyers got a power play with less than five minutes left in the third period. Simmonds made another great pass to Hartnell who ripped a shot past Enroth to put the Flyers up 3-2. The goal was Hartnell’s 11th of the season.
Less than a minute after Hartnell’s goal, the Sabres tied the game on a defensive lapse in the Flyers’ zone. Tyler Ennis one-timed a pass from Matt Moulson for the game-tying goal.
Down 1-0 early in the second period, the Flyers went on the power play. A second effort from Wayne Simmonds helped the Flyers tie the game at 1-1. Simmonds outworked the defense and slipped a pass to Jake Voracek who scored his 13th goal of the second.
Buffalo opened the scoring in the first period with a goal from Cody Hodgson. The goal came 6:59 into the first. The goal was a result of poor defensive coverage by Claude Giroux. The captain drifted too far away from the slot, which gave Hodgson plenty of space to maneuver.
Scott Hartnell has 14 points in his last 14 games.
Brayden Schenn has scored five goals in his last nine games.
Nicklas Grossman has struggled the past few games. Should head coach Craig Berube consider scratching him?
The first period was downright awful for the Flyers.
Voracek’s goal on the power play was huge for this team in the second period. It tied the game, and it allowed the Flyers hit reset with plenty of time left to play.
The Flyers look sapped of any energy with Rinaldo out of the lineup.
Tuesday night could be huge for Lecavalier. He has not performed well since his return and the Flyers need him to produce.