Flyers overcome sluggish start, beat Sabres

Sean Couturier
Sean Couturier and the Flyers downed the Sabres Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Credit: Getty Images

There is no such thing as a sure two points in hockey, which the Flyers seemed determined to prove Thursday against the worst-in-the-NHL Buffalo Sabres.

You think things were bad around here for the franchise that sent its coach, Peter Laviolette, packing after just three games and was still slogging along at 4-10-1 just two weeks back? Well, it’s been even worse in upstate New York, where the Sabres have rarely been sharp, coming in 5-17-1 which also led to their coach, Ron Rolston, getting canned last week.

Yet for over a period, it was hard to tell which of these clubs was the bottom-feeder and which was riding a five-game unbeaten streak. The Sabres muscled home a late Tyler Myers first period power-play goal and seemed intent on springing the upset when they killed off a pair of 5-on-3 Flyers power plays.

A few weeks ago the Flyers might’ve meekly succumbed. But not these days, as Matt Read scored goals 1:40 apart late in the second, then Vinny Lecavalier added a third period power-play goal, before Scott Hartnell’s goal into an open net enabled them to escape with a deceiving 4-1 victory.

Ray Emery turned aside 29 shots as Philadelphia made it 5-0-1 since falling to the Devils on home ice exactly two weeks ago. Since then they’ve made it hell for everybody else and in the process have moved into the thick of the scramble for playoff positioning.

“We’re playing good hockey,” said Craig Berube, now 9-7-2 since replacing Laviolette. “There are obviously some things you can improve, like we weren¹t real happy in the first period. You have to stay on it all of the time. You can¹t take a break and there are no easy games in this league.

“There are going to be nights where you might not have the jump and the legs, and that’s where you have to be real smart out there and not turn pucks over.”

For the most part that formula paid off Thursday, as the Flyers continue to cut down on the turnovers that plagued them the first 15 games. The few times they did cough it up in this one, Emery was there to bail them out.

“He was solid again,” said Berube, who’s been giving Emery more of a workload lately, though Steve Mason remains No. 1 man in net. “He is a very good goalie and wins a lot of games.”

These days, though, it doesn’t seem to matter who’s in goal or who’s shooting the puck. The Flyers are getting the job done, with the third line of Read, Steve Downie and center Sean Couturier providing the latest spark, as they blasted a season-high 46 shots at Ryan Miller.

According to Emery it simply took awhile for the shock of a coaching change to kick in.

“It takes time to get used to some of changes that happened,” said Emery, who was also here when Laviolette replaced John Stevens and they struggled for awhile before eventually reaching the Stanley Cup Final. “It takes time to get your confidence back as a group as well.
“Most of the time guys feel kind of responsible for the coach that’s leaving the team. You want to do well for the new guy, but sometimes it takes awhile. But we have a positive feeling in the room now. That’s all that counts.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Local

Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…

Local

NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…

Television

10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."

Movies

Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…

Movies

Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…

Books

Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.

NFL

3 things that went wrong in Jets loss…

The Jets have very little room for error with a far-from-explosive offense.

NFL

Eli Manning finally feeling good in West Coast…

The Giants have very little time before their next game, but they still took a moment to relish the team’s biggest offensive outburst since Week 1 of 2013.

College

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

Wellbeing

Exercising leads to more drinking — and we…

  We’re rewarding ourselves with more than dessert on days we exercise, according to a new study. On days when people exercise more, typically Thursday…

Wellbeing

5 gadgets to protect you from sharks, concussions,…

The medical industry is inundated with devices looking after all aspects of your wellbeing, from monitoring your sleep patterns to warding off shark attacks. We…

Wellbeing

Narcissism and the ugly side of vanity

I have a friend who constantly talks about herself and rarely asks any questions about my life. She is constantly preening, obsessed with her body,…

Wellbeing

Lacking new ideas, Apple Watch disappoints health experts

Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when the Apple Watch was announced. But health care professionals and…