The bad news is the Flyers have taken control of the series, and have regained their home ice advantage. It was the first home playoff game in the Pegula era and the Sabres had a chance to go up 2-1.
Despite the home fans rockin’ HSBC Arena early on, it was Philadelphia who scored first. As if the Sabres didn’t learn their lesson from game two, an early penalty came back to get them. After a roughing call to Patrick Kaleta, Jeff Carter took advantage and beat Ryan Miller to go up 1-0.
The Sabres would recover and went on to dominate the second half of the period, outshooting the Flyers 16-6. Drew Stafford took a wrist shot that beat Brian Boucher.
The second period wasn’t any better for Buffalo, as Philadelphia went out to a 3-1 lead. Chris Butler lost control of the puck behind his own net and the Flyers had Danny Briere all alone in front of net. Briere roofed a shot past the helpless Sabres goaltender as the Flyers regained the lead.
After failing to clear the zone, the Sabres got caught behind the play and Nikolay Zherdev was parked in front of the net for an easy tip in.
But that was all the Sabres’ offense could do. The Flyers’ Kimmo Timonen sealed the 4-2 game with an empty net goal.
The loss marked the first time the Sabres have lost back-to-back games since Terry Pegula bought the team.
The Sabres outshot the Flyers on the night 37-26.
The Sabres now have to prepare for a game four on Wednesday night, which is everything but a must win. A loss on Wednesday would put the Sabres down 3-1, while a win would tie the series at two.
Philadelphia have regained home ice advantage in this series, and the Sabres must win two in a row at some point if they plan on getting by the first round.
Marc-Andre Gragnani led the Sabres with 23:51 of ice time and assisted on both Buffalo goals. Miller finished the night with 22 of 25 saves, while Boucher stopped 35 of 37. Patrick Kaleta left the game with an upper-body injury and did not return.
Game four is scheduled for Wednesday, April 20th at 7:30.