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Philadelphia at Buffalo

Flyers end skid as Briere haunts former team with clinching SO goal

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Daniel Briere had plenty to smile about after scoring the clinching shootout goal in Philadelphia's 4-3 comeback win over the Buffalo Sabres.

The forward was still celebrating in helping the Flyers snap a 10-game skid when he learned his team had bolstered its banged-up lineup by acquiring high-scoring Vaclav Prospal in a trade with Tampa Bay.

"That's great," Briere said. "We've been struggling lately. It just felt like things are starting to turn. ... We come off the ice and have a player like Vinny Prospal to our team: That's a lot of good news today."

The deal was struck a day before the NHL's trade deadline. The Flyers sent the Lightning minor-league defenseman Alexandre Picard and a conditional pick in the 2009 draft.

The trade capped the Flyers' best day in weeks, with their last win a 3-2 victory against Atlanta on Feb. 5.

Prospal, an 11-year veteran, who has a career-best 29 goals this season, joins a team depleted by injuries. Leading scorer Mike Richards will miss at least three weeks after tearing his hamstring last weekend. And Philadelphia is already minus star forward Simon Gagne (concussion) and defenseman Derian Hatcher (knee).

Then there was Briere's decisive goal, scored against his former team. It capped a three-goal rally that helped end an 0-8-2 slump -- matching the longest in franchise history -- and pushed Philadelphia into a tie with the Sabres for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot. Philly has one more victory.

With a chorus of boos raining down on the Sabres' former co-captain, Briere skated in on Ryan Miller, making a series of back-and-forth moves before stuffing the puck just inside the right post.

"All I was thinking was, `This is perfect. I can't be in a better position,"' said Briere, who's been booed recently in Philadelphia, blamed for the team's struggles. "I think we just got rewarded a little bit tonight for the way things have been going against us lately."

R.J. Umberger, who capped the Flyers' comeback with 7:15 left in regulation, Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell also scored for Philadelphia.

Things couldn't have gone much worse for the Sabres, who squandered a three-goal lead for the first time since a 6-5 overtime loss against Toronto on March 15, 2004.

Besides the loss, it's possible the game was Brian Campbell's last for Buffalo, with the Sabres anticipated to attempt to trade the two-time All-Star defenseman before the deadline.

"Do I feel I might get traded? Yeah," said Campbell, who's in the final year of his contract. "Do I know 100 percent? No."

Campbell told reporters earlier in the day he did not plan to counter the Sabres' last offer. The Sabres haven't ruled out trading Campbell.

Miller was unhappy with the loss, but equally upset in blaming the media for creating a distraction regarding Campbell's uncertain future.

"It's just been way too much of a circus around Brian. It's over tomorrow, and we move on," Miller said.

As for the loss, Miller said: "It's annoying. It's a team we need to beat and a team we should have beat tonight."

Jason Pominville had a goal and an assist, and Derek Roy and Clarke MacArthur also scored for Buffalo, which fell to 2-4 in its past six games.

The Sabres inexplicably couldn't put a game away in which they built a 3-0 lead on Pominville's goal 14:16 into the first period.

Umberger capped the comeback with a power-play goal shortly after Pominville was penalized for delay of game. From the right circle, Umberger snapped a shot in off the far post behind Miller, who was screened by Philadelphia's Mike Knuble, who finished with two assists.

Philadelphia goalie Martin Biron also beat his former team after the Sabres traded him to the Flyers last year. Biron made 26 saves through overtime, and earned the win by stopping Tim Connolly and Derek Roy, who lost control of the puck as he shot, in the shootout.

"I got lucky tonight," said Biron, who won for the first time in seven starts (1-5-1). "We came back, fought and battled. But we have to realize it can't be like that all the time."

Notes

  • Sabres C Jochen Hecht (leg) missed his second straight game.
  • Flyers D Kimmo Timonen was disappointed but not surprised that former teammate Peter Forsberg chose to sign with Colorado rather than Philadelphia. "When I talked to him a couple of months ago, he said, `Either us or Colorado,"' Timonen said. "We would've taken him with open arms. I'm sure he's going to help Colorado."
  • Flyers D Jaroslav Modry left midway through the first period. The team did not provide an update of his status.
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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Daniel Briere strikes back against his old team by scoring the decisive goal in the shootout.  (AP)
Daniel Briere strikes back against his old team by scoring the decisive goal in the shootout. (AP)
Scoreboard
Philadelphia  (31-25-7) «20101 (2)4
Buffalo (30-24-9)30000 (1)3
Three Stars
J. Pominville
BUF


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
S. Hartnell
PHI


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
J. Spacek
BUF


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
06:31Derek Roy (24), Backhand Shot. Assist: Jaroslav Spacek
06:42Clarke Macarthur (8), Wrist Shot. Assist: Jason Pominville, Tim Connolly
14:16Jason Pominville (18), Tip-In. Assist: Tim Connolly, Jaroslav Spacek
14:33Jeff Carter (20), Backhand Shot. Assist: Mike Knuble, Randy Jones
16:21Scott Hartnell (20), Slap Shot. Assist: Patrick Thoresen
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
12:45Power Play - R.J. Umberger (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Braydon Coburn, Mike Knuble
OT
None
SHOOTOUT
 Ales Kotalik (4), GOAL
 Jeff Carter (1), GOAL
 Daniel Briere (1), GOAL
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:02Boulerice, 5 min, Fighting
03:02Peters, 5 min, Fighting
03:02Boulerice, 2 min, Slashing
16:34Downie, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
2ND PERIOD
03:54Cote, 2 min, Tripping
05:00Vanek, 2 min, Tripping
06:00Smith, 2 min, Holding
09:04Mair, 2 min, Holding
18:49Spacek, 2 min, Hooking
18:49Upshall, 2 min, Diving/Embellishment
19:48Tallinder, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
03:39Kotalik, 2 min, Hooking
12:29Pominville, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
OT
None
SHOOTOUT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Philadelphia1191232
Buffalo1211528
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGASO SSO GA
Martin Biron 65:0026331
Ryan Miller 65:0032332
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Philadelphia0-for-0
Buffalo0-for-0
Game Information
Attendance - 18690
Referees - Mike Hasenfratz, Dave Jackson
Linesmen - Steve Miller, Mark Shewchyk
 
Other Games
Tor 5 Final
Ott 0