Sabres back Lehner in win over Flyers


Robin Lehner has been locked in lately, and the Sabres finally backed him up in a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night at the KeyBank Center.

While on the power play with three minutes remaining, the Flyers pulled Brian Elliott for a chance at a 6-on-4, and Michael Raffl cut the deficit in half with 2:10 to go.

The net was emptied again as Philadelphia was in search of the tying goal, but Jack Eichel all but sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with just over a minute remaining.

Again, Elliott was pulled after the ensuing faceoff, and the Flyers struck again. Shayne Gostisbehere ripped a one-timer past Lehner to bring the Flyers within a goal with 30 seconds left.

Once more, the Flyers elected for the extra attacker, but this time Eichel finally got the last laugh as he buried another empty-net goal in the final second.

For much of the game, Lehner was in a goaltending duel with Elliott as both teams were scoreless after 40 minutes. Both goaltenders came up with tremendous saves throughout the night, and Lehner’s strong effort didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

“He’s been our best player and given us a chance to win when we’re not scoring goals. Again tonight, he was outstanding.” – Ryan O’Reilly

“He’s been keeping us in a lot of games and he did a good job handling the puck. It’s good to see him get a win and rewarded for his effort.” – Eichel

O’Reilly opened the scoring after he threw the puck toward the net from below the goal line and somehow got it to bank off Elliott for his ninth of the season.

“It was a lucky bounce. I thought I’d try to surprise him with one and it was good momentum for us.” – O’Reilly

Shortly after, the Sabres got into some penalty trouble with Sam Reinhart and Jake McCabe taking two-minute minors. However, Buffalo continued its’ recent success while shorthanded, killing off a two-man advantage that lasted 45 seconds. 

The Sabres added an insurance goal after Josh Gorges let a shot go from the point that was deflected in by Evander Kane, who recorded his 15th goal.

The Sabres have a challenging road ahead with each of the next seven games away from KeyBank Center, starting with Saturday’s game vs. the Carolina Hurricanes. Six are road games and one is the Winter Classic, where Buffalo will be considered the home team against the New York Rangers.



Kevin Freiheit
Kevin Freiheit
I founded Buffalo Hockey Central in 2008 and have poured hours and hours into this site. Luckily, we have a great team of writers and designers who have helped keep this up and running despite a ton of out-of-pocket costs. We do this because we enjoy it, and we're desperate to see the Sabres win the Cup someday, but they have to make the playoffs first.
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