Philadelphia at Buffalo

Sabres embarrass Flyers with nine goals; also remain unbeaten

CBS wire reports

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- First the Sabres were winning the tight ones. Now they're blowing teams out.

Buffalo has rolled to a perfect start through six games. With a 9-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night, the Sabres don't seem to be slowing down a bit.

"Not all games are going to go like this," coach Lindy Ruff said. "You're painting a pretty picture. But it hasn't been that easy."

The Sabres are sure making it look that way, taking full control against the Flyers with a six-goal, second-period outburst.

Maxim Afinogenov had a goal and four assists, Thomas Vanek had two goals and two assists, and Derek Roy scored twice for Buffalo, two wins shy of matching its best start set in 1975.

The Sabres have also won 11 straight regular-season games, tying the franchise record established 31 years ago.

Still, no one's getting too excited.

"Just take it in stride and handling it with maturity," said Ryan Miller, who stopped 37 shots and denied Mike Richards on a penalty shot in the first period. "We're not going to celebrate. You could easily be on the other end of a game like that."

Tell that to the Flyers (1-4-1), who are having difficulty finding their offense and unraveling on defense. It was the most goals they've allowed since a 9-4 loss at Pittsburgh on Feb. 9, 2001.

"It's totally embarrassing," captain Peter Forsberg said. "It's not one or two guys, it's the whole team."

And no one was pointing fingers at Robert Esche, who allowed nine goals on 37 shots. Making his first start since the season opener, Esche was left helpless by a flat-footed defense that couldn't keep up against the Sabres' speedy forwards.

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Vanek sparked the goal surge, converting his own rebound 37 seconds into the middle period. By the time the frame was over, Buffalo had scored six times on 12 shots, converted three of four power-play chances, and ended the period by scoring three times in a 2 1/2-minute span.

The Sabres added three more in the first 5 minutes of the third period.

After winning their first four games by one-goal margins, and three in shootouts, Buffalo has outscored its last two opponents 16-5. They beat the New York Rangers 7-4 on Saturday.

"We didn't try to run it up," said Chris Drury, who scored once to extend his point streak to six games (seven goals and three assists). "Coaches just kept preaching our system, and things just kept kind of clicking."

Also scoring for the Sabres were Jiri Novotny, Jaroslav Spacek and Henrik Tallinder.

Jeff Carter spoiled Miller's shutout bid by scoring two minutes into the third period, but the Flyers have managed just 12 goals in six games.

"I don't think we'll self-destruct," Carter said. "We did all of the self-destructing tonight. Hopefully, this is rock bottom."

It was the first meeting between the teams since Buffalo beat Philadelphia 7-1 in Game 6 to win last year's first-round playoff series. And this was reminiscent of Buffalo's 8-2 drubbing of the Flyers in Game 2 of that series. The Sabres again showed their speed was too much for Philadelphia's plodding defense.

That was particularly evident when Afinogenov capped the second-period run. The speedy winger went end-to-end, maneuvered around a flat-footed Derian Hatcher, and jammed the puck past Esche.


  • The six goals allowed by the Flyers in the second period matched a franchise worst, last done against New Jersey in March 1993.
  • The Flyers have failed on their last four penalty shots and are 12-of-33 overall. Miller has not allowed a goal on two penalty shots. The Sabres have yielded 17 goals on 40 chances.
  • The Sabres' six-goal period was three short of a franchise record and their most since scoring six against Ottawa in October 1992.
Copyright 2017 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.
Maxim Afinogenov beats Robert Esche for a goal. Afinogenov also has assists on four other goals. (AP)
Maxim Afinogenov beats Robert Esche for a goal. Afinogenov also has assists on four other goals. (AP)
Philadelphia (1-4-1)0011
Buffalo  (6-0-0) «0639
Three Stars
T. Vanek

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 2
M. Afinogenov

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 4
R. Miller

Saves: 37
Save Pct.: .974

Related Video

August 29, 2017
2017-18 NHL preview: Philadelphia Flyers (0:39)
October 3, 2017
Sabres sign Jack Eichel to eight-year contract extension
October 22, 2017
NHL Power Rankings (10/22)
October 21, 2017
The NHL Rundown (10/21)
Scoring Summary
00:37Thomas Vanek (2), Backhand Shot - Assists: Teppo Numminen, Maxim Afinogenov
10:10Power Play - Jaroslav Spacek, Slap Shot - Assists: Daniel Briere, Teppo Numminen
11:23Power Play - Chris Drury (7), Snap Shot - Assists: Paul Gaustad, Daniel Briere
14:56Derek Roy, Snap Shot - Assist: Thomas Vanek
16:32Henrik Tallinder (2), Slap Shot - Assists: Toni Lydman, Maxim Afinogenov
17:26Power Play - Maxim Afinogenov (3), Snap Shot - Assist: Ales Kotalik
01:22Jeff Carter, Wrist Shot - Assists: Randy Robitaille, Robert Esche
01:46Derek Roy, Snap Shot - Assists: Maxim Afinogenov, Thomas Vanek
03:21Jiri Novotny (2), Slap Shot - Assists: Ales Kotalik, Toni Lydman
04:55Thomas Vanek (3), Snap Shot - Assists: Maxim Afinogenov, Brian Campbell
Penalty Summary
07:16Kane: Roughing - 2 min.
07:16Peters: Roughing - 2 min.
07:16Mair: Boarding - 2 min.
09:15Numminen: Hooking - 2 min.
11:37Sanderson: Holding - 2 min.
14:48Carter: Roughing - 2 min.
14:48Afinogenov: Roughing - 2 min.
04:27Lydman: Tripping - 2 min.
07:52Peters: Roughing - 2 min.
08:51Pitkanen: Holding - 2 min.
09:49Richards: Hooking - 2 min.
13:54Campbell: Tripping - 2 min.
14:12Forsberg: Interference - 2 min.
16:51Knuble: Slashing - 2 min.
05:54Knuble: Roughing - 2 min.
Philadelphia91613 38
Buffalo121012 34
Robert Esche59:57289
Ryan Miller60:00371
Attendance - 18690
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Gord Dwyer, Don Van Massenhoven
Line Judges - Scott Driscoll, Shane Heyer
Other Games
Cal 4 Final
Mon 5
Pho 5 Final
StL 2
Van 1 Final
Edm 2
Dal 0 Final
SJ 2