Buffalo at Philadelphia

Sabres take shootout over Flyers for season-best sixth straight win


PHILADELPHIA -- Buffalo's Thomas Vanek said he was just doing his job.

Vanek scored with 7.2 seconds left in regulation, Ales Kotalik had the only shootout goal and the Sabres beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-5 on Saturday to sweep the home-and-home series and extend their season-high winning streak to six games.

"I like distracting the goalie," Vanek explained after he redirected Jochen Hecht's shot from the center of the right circle to send the game into overtime.

"Jochen had a great shot. I had a good tip on it and it went in. That's my job. I like doing it."

Kotalik, who also scored in regulation, beat goalie Martin Biron, his former Sabre teammate, to the glove side for the winner.

"I know Marty is probably going to know what I'm going to try to do," Kotalik explained. "So I was trying to do something different."

Said Biron: "I thought we did everything we needed to do in the third period to win it. It was just a matter of maybe six inches at one end of the ice to keep the puck down at the other end of the ice. That would have been the difference."

Philadelphia had battled back from a 3-1 deficit to take a 5-4 lead when Kimmo Timonen scored on a power play 3:51 into the third period.

Jeff Carter and Mike Richards each had two goals in regulation for the Flyers, who have lost a season-high six straight games. They have lost nine of their last 10 at home since opening the season 6-0 in Philadelphia.

"We're going to have to deal with it," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "We have to come and play hard for 60 minutes every night coming back from Christmas because we put ourselves in a hole that we have to climb out of."

Maxim Afinogenov, Jason Pominville, and Jaroslav Spacek also scored for the Sabres, who have won 13 of their last 17 games.

"I thought we battled for every inch we got," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "There was a lot of emotion."

Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller made 31 saves. Biron stopped 23 shots.

Buffalo took a 1-0 lead on a power play 2:18 into the game when Afinogenov scored on a one-timer from the right circle after taking a cross-ice pass from Pominville.

Philadelphia tied it at 16:40 of the period with the teams skating 4-on-4 when Carter chipped in a rebound of a shot by R.J. Umberger.

Kotalik regained the lead for the Sabres when he hammered in a rebound of his own shot during a scramble in front of the net at 3:00 of the second period.

Pominville made it 3-1 at 7:54 when he picked up a loose puck and scored from inside the right circle.

The Flyers pulled even with a pair of short-handed goals midway through the second period. Carter scored on a deflection at 12:08, and 55 seconds later, Richards scored after intercepting a clearing attempt.

The teams then traded power-play goals by Spacek and Richards, each with a two-man advantage, and were tied at 4 at the end of the second period.

The Sabres beat the Flyers 3-2 in Buffalo on Friday night.


  • Buffalo C Tim Connolly was scratched because of a stomach virus and D Nolan Pratt was a healthy scratch. Philadelphia D Randy Jones was scratched due to a knee injury.
  • The Flyers have not won a home game since Dec. 11, when they defeated Pittsburgh, 8-2.
  • The Flyers' record for fastest short-handed goal is 26 seconds, when Murray Craven and Mark Howe scored at New Jersey on Nov. 6, 1986.
  • It was the Sabres' first shootout of the season.
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Ryan Miller makes a sprawling save to deny Jeff Carter from scoring in the shootout. (AP)
Ryan Miller makes a sprawling save to deny Jeff Carter from scoring in the shootout. (AP)
Buffalo  (19-14-1) «13101 (1)6
Philadelphia (16-14-4)13100 (0)5
Three Stars
M. Richards

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
J. Carter

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
J. Pominville

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 3

Related Video

Scoring Summary
02:18Power Play - Maxim Afinogenov (7), Slap Shot. Assist: Jason Pominville, Nathan Paetsch
16:40Jeff Carter (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: R.J. Umberger
03:00Ales Kotalik (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Paul Gaustad, Maxim Afinogenov
07:54Jason Pominville (9), Snap Shot. Assist: Jochen Hecht, Daniel Paille
12:08Short - Jeff Carter (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Daniel Briere, Derian Hatcher
13:03Short - Mike Richards (17), Slap Shot. Assist: R.J. Umberger
15:26Power Play - Jaroslav Spacek (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Ales Kotalik, Jason Pominville
19:33Power Play - Mike Richards (18), Slap Shot. Assist: Kimmo Timonen, Joffrey Lupul
03:51Power Play - Kimmo Timonen (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Mike Richards, Joffrey Lupul
19:52Thomas Vanek (11), Slap Shot. Assist: Jochen Hecht, Jason Pominville
 Ales Kotalik (1), GOAL
Penalty Summary
01:37Richards, 2 min, Roughing
09:38Cote, 5 min, Fighting
09:38Peters, 5 min, Fighting
11:13Paetsch, 5 min, Fighting
11:13Richards, 5 min, Fighting
16:01Afinogenov, 2 min, Interference
16:26Timonen, 2 min, Hooking
08:07Hecht, 2 min, Roughing
08:07Coburn, 2 min, Roughing
10:51Coburn, 2 min, Hooking
12:46Carter, 2 min, Slashing
14:22Smith, 2 min, Roughing
14:22Roy, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
14:22Hatcher, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
14:53Vandermeer, 2 min, Roughing
18:12Spacek, 2 min, Hooking
18:36Gaustad, 2 min, Holding
03:47Ryan, 2 min, High-Sticking
05:31Kapanen, 2 min, Interference
10:30Lupul, 2 min, Interference
14:35Mair, 2 min, Interference
14:35Mair, 2 min, Roughing
01:30Kalinin, 2 min, Hooking
04:05Hecht, 2 min, Holding
Shots On Goal
Ryan Miller 64:1831530
Martin Biron 64:1823521
Game Information
Attendance - 19606
Referees - Kevin Pollock, Eric Furlatt
Linesmen - David Brisebois, Pat Dapuzzo
Other Games
Mon 2 Final
Atl 3
Chi 4 Final
Ott 3
Ana 5 Final
SJ 2
Wash 2 Final
Det 4 Final
Min 1
Van 2 Final
Pho 1
Tor 2 Final
Fla 1
StL 4 Final
Bos 1
LA 3 Final
Nash 4
Car 4 Final
TB 1