NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Philadelphia
(Monday, December 19th)
Final Score: Buffalo 2, Philadelphia 1 (SO)
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Maxim Afinogenov recorded the deciding shootout goal to lift Buffalo over the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, at the Wachovia Center.
Paul Gaustad scored midway through the third period to force overtime and goaltender Ryan Miller made 33 saves for the Sabres, who have won seven straight and 12 of their last 13.
Mike Knuble had a goal for the Flyers and Peter Forsberg lit the lamp during the shootout and also recorded an assist. Goaltender Antero Niittymaki stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced for Philadelphia, which has dropped two of its last three.
Forsberg tucked a backhand shot between Miller's pads to put the Flyers up 1-0 in the shootout. Niittymaki had a chance to give Philadelphia the win on the ensuing sequence, but couldn't stop Tim Connolly's elevated backhander.
Then, after Jon Sim was denied by Miller, Afinogenov faked a shot, wound back up and then ripped the puck above Niittymaki's left shoulder to put Buffalo out in front. Knuble had a chance to extend the shootout but Miller denied him to give the Sabres the win.
The Flyers took a 1-0 lead at the 4:25 mark of the first period on a power- play goal by Knuble. Forsberg received a pass from Michal Handzus down low, moved out just in front of the goal line and sent the disc across the crease to Knuble, who released a shot. His initial try was denied by Miller but Knuble got his own rebound and punched it home.
The Sabres evened the score with 12:48 remaining in the game. Afinogenov gained the blue line and rushed down the left side before dropping a pass back to Gaustad. The center wound up and fired a shot from between the circles that beat Niittymaki high glove side.
The Flyers were awarded a power play with 2:08 to play in regulation after Rory Fitzpatrick was whistled for tripping. Philadelphia created heavy pressure in the final minutes, but were unable to capitalize.
Buffalo gained the extra-man advantage in overtime and nearly put the game away with just under one minute remaining. Teppo Numminen's slap shot from the point rang off the left post and the game went to the shootout.
The Sabres have now won nine straight games on the road...Starting Buffalo goaltender Martin Biron had the night off. He has won 13 straight decisions, and can become the first netminder to win 14 consecutive starts since Pittsburgh's Tom Barrasso from March 9 to April 9, 1993...Buffalo, which is 12-5-0 on the road overall, will visit Florida on Thursday...Philadelphia goaltender Robert Esche was a scratch and is expected to miss at least two weeks with a groin injury...Philly's Sami Kapanen had his five-game point streak snapped.
12/19 22:19:55 ET