The Sabres came out and controlled the first half of the opening period, and Tyler Ennis began the scoring spree with a shot that he banked off Philadelphia goaltender Brian Boucher.
Just a couple minutes later, Thomas Vanek did the same thing from behind the Flyers’ net and Buffalo were out to a fast 2-0 lead. Fans in Philly were already beginning to turn on their team and the referees.
After Daniel Briere took a penalty for goaltender interference, the Sabres capitalized on the power play. Marc-Andre Gragnani earned his first career playoff goal as the Sabres built a 3-0 lead.
However, the Sabres would struggle to hold the lead, and they eventually gave it up. Peter Laviolette decided to make a goaltending change by putting Michael Leighton in net. Boucher finished the game allowing three goals on 11 shots.
James Van Riemsdyk finally got the Flyers on the board almost half way through the game. Ryan Miller got caught out of the crease and Van Riemsdyk stepped around him and buried the opportunity.
The goal immediately got the crowd and the team right back into the game. If you listened to the crowd after the first goal, you wouldn’t be able to tell the Flyers were down 3-1. Minutes later, it was a one goal game, thanks to a goal by Andrej Mezaros. At the halfway point of regulation, the Flyers made it a 3-2 game, gaining even more momentum as the Sabres didn’t even register a shot in the period.
Early in the third period, Mike Richards found Daniel Briere in front of the net, who beat Miller to tie the game at three. Miller just missed having the post covered and Philadelphia completed the three goal comeback and it was a whole new game.
Shots were even at 11 apiece in the third period, and the series brought something that we have yet to see, an overtime game. Philly had a chance to win it in regulation with a power play in the final minutes of the third period. However, the Sabres managed to block the Flyers’ shooting lanes and force the overtime.
After a huge rebound given up by Leighton was put into the back of the net by Ennis, who sends the series back to Buffalo with a 3-2 lead.
Jason Pominville left the game after getting cut by a Flyers skate just above his ankle and did not return. Eight of the Sabres’ 12 goals this series have come in the first period.
Jason Pominville left the game after getting cut by a Flyers skate just above his ankle. Eight of the Sabres’ 12 goals this series have come in the first period.
Game six is on Sunday at 3 p.m. The Sabres can finish off the Flyers on home ice with a victory.