Philadelphia at Buffalo

Briere powers Sabres past Flyers, to 40th victory

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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BUFFALO, N.Y -- For the first time in more than two weeks, the Buffalo Sabres didn't need dramatics to win.

Having played six consecutive one-goal games, including three shootouts, the Sabres received a goal and two assists from Daniel Briere and connected three times on power plays to put away the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3 on Tuesday night.

Chris Drury, Derek Roy and Jason Pominville each added a goal and an assist, and Andrew Peters and Adam Mair also scored for the Sabres, who won for the seventh time in nine games after losing three in a row.

"We battled hard and battled the whole game," Roy said. "Our power play did a real good job and moved the puck real well."

The Sabres took over sole possession of the top spot in the NHL with 85 points -- two ahead of idle Nashville -- and secured 40 wins in just their 60th game, the fastest they've reached the mark in their 36-season history.

"Every point is important," said defenseman Brian Campbell, who had one assist and sparked the Sabres with a fight against Philadelphia forward R.J. Umberger just two minutes in. Campbell knocked out Umberger with an open-ice hit in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs last year.

"As long as it's over now," he said about the bad blood. "It's gone on too long."

The Sabres won despite a lineup that was missing five players, but lost another forward after rookie Daniel Paille broke his left index finger. Paille will miss the next couple of weeks.

"I'm trying to see the positive, but it's kind of ridiculous," Briere said about the injuries.

Buffalo's Ryan Miller finished with 32 saves in his fourth consecutive start.

Simon Gagne had two goals, and Sami Kapanen also scored for the Flyers, losers of two in a row and three of four. Mike Richards added three assists for the second time this season.

Philadelphia has won just once in 10 games at Buffalo since 2001.

"They're tough to beat," Gagne said. "They have a lot of skill."

Roy opened the scoring with his 10th goal just four minutes in, but Gagne tied it at 11:25 of the first, slipping the puck past Miller after coming to the front of the net from the left corner.

Peters made it 2-1 just 38 seconds later with his first goal in nearly three years, banging home a rebound off Nathan Paetsch's shot from the point.

Mair made it 3-1 with his second of the season at 1:45 of the middle period, and Briere pushed Buffalo's lead to 4-1 with another power-play goal 40 seconds later. Briere extended his goal streak to four games with his 27th.

That chased Robert Esche, who finished with 10 saves on 14 shots. Antero Niittymaki replaced Esche, who was making his first appearance since leaving seven minutes into a start against Atlanta on Feb. 3 with a stiff neck.

Gagne cut the lead to 4-2 with his team-leading 33rd goal, and Kapanen closed the gap to 4-3 with his eighth at 5:17 of the third, wristing a shot from the left circle past Miller.

"We needed to get the momentum back," Roy said. "Everyone on the bench was saying to get some pucks on the net and get some more pressure in their zone."

The Sabres did just that, with Drury giving Buffalo its two-goal cushion back with his team-leading 32nd at 7:39. Pominville capped the scoring with his 24th six minutes later to make it 6-3.

"They battled hard, but besides the little lapse we played a very good game," Briere said.

Niittymaki finished with six saves.

"We felt at times we were the better team," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "It was an opportunity for us."

Notes

  • Flyers D Alexei Zhitnik played in his 1,000th NHL game, the eighth non-North American defenseman to reach the milestone.
  • Philadelphia LW Ben Eager sat out with an ankle injury sustained Monday against Boston.
  • Peters, who has three career goals, hadn't scored one since March 26, 2004 -- an empty-netter against Pittsburgh.
  • Buffalo LW Clarke MacArthur earned his first career assist on Peters' goal.
  • Gagne has nine goals in seven games.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Chris Drury beats Antero Niittymaki with a power-play goal in the third period.  (AP)
Chris Drury beats Antero Niittymaki with a power-play goal in the third period. (AP)

Scoreboard
Philadelphia (16-36-8)1113
Buffalo  (40-15-5) «2226
Three Stars
D. Briere
BUF


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
C. Drury
BUF


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
A. Peters
BUF


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:04Power Play - Derek Roy (10), Slap Shot - Assists: Jason Pominville, Teppo Numminen
11:25Simon Gagne (32), Backhand Shot - Assists: Mike Richards, Geoff Sanderson
12:03Andrew Peters, Tip-In - Assists: Nathan Paetsch, Clarke Macarthur
2ND PERIOD
01:45Adam Mair (2), Tip-In - Assists: Brian Campbell, Derek Roy
02:25Power Play - Daniel Briere (28), Tip-In - Assists: Nathan Paetsch, Chris Drury
10:13Simon Gagne (33), Slap Shot - Assists: Mike Richards, Joni Pitkanen
3RD PERIOD
05:17Sami Kapanen (8), Snap Shot - Assists: Joni Pitkanen, Mike Richards
07:39Power Play - Chris Drury (32), Slap Shot - Assists: Daniel Briere, Jochen Hecht
13:07Jason Pominville (24), Wrist Shot - Assists: Daniel Briere, Jochen Hecht
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:10Umberger: Fighting - 5 min.
02:10Campbell: Fighting - 5 min.
02:10Umberger: Instigator - 2 min.
02:10Umberger: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
04:39Peters: Fighting - 5 min.
04:39Fedoruk: Fighting - 5 min.
19:16Richards: Tripping - 2 min.
2ND PERIOD
02:10Gauthier: Hooking - 2 min.
12:10Campbell: Hooking - 2 min.
19:51Lydman: Slashing - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
06:36Afanasenkov: Hooking - 2 min.
19:55Pitkanen: Cross Check - 2 min.
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
Philadelphia7131535
Buffalo108422
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Robert Esche22:25104
Antero Niittymaki37:3562
Ryan Miller60:00323
Game Information
Attendance - 18690
Referees - Francois St-Laurent, Don Van Massenhoven
Linesmen - Andy McElman, Steve Miller
 
Other Games
Bos 3 Final
Tor 0
Atl 3 Final
Car 1
Wash 3 Final
Mon 5
Edm 3 Final
Ott 4
NYR 1 Final
NJ 2
Fla 2 Final
TB 3
Colu 4 Final
StL 5
Dal 1 Final
Min 2
Cal 3 Final
Colo 4
Van 3 Final
OT
Ana 2