One win to advance, Thirteen to go
The Buffalo Sabres have a chance to return home and close out the series against the Philadelphia Flyers after their 4-3 overtime victory. The Sabres jumped out with a couple weird angle goals, but put pressure on the Flyers from the start. The Flyers responded in their home arena and pushed the Sabres back on their heels, but ultimately lost the game in overtime.
Tyler Ennis was the Sabres best forward all night and as much as I feel he may overcomplicate his moves while entering the offensive zone he was the only player that consistently put pressure on the Flyers. Not to mention scoring the game winner allows him a free pass. He needs to play more games like tonight and drive hard to the net and play smart along the boards.
I was skeptical of Ennis at times and I’ll gladly eat this delicious plate of crow.
I had a sneaky suspicion that Tim Connolly was going to do something big in the game. I was wrong. Go figure.
The shot by Mike Weber was as big a part of Ennis’ goal. It was a hard, low slap shot that created the rebound opportunity. Rebounds have been available to the Sabres throughout the series and they capitalized on the opportunity.
Brian Boucher had a rough night and there is no excuse to have the two pucks bounce off of you from that deep. On top of that he seemed completely shocked that Marc-Andre Gragnani would want to shoot the puck on a 4-on-3.
I really wish that the referees would just drop the puck. I understand and can appreciate that there is a protocol that they are supposed to follow, but at time it is tough to watch and the defensive zone faceoff is so crucial in some instances in the playoffs
Ryan Miller may have been out of position in some cases tonight, but he also made huge saves through the third period. He was put in a difficult position in the James van Riemsdyk goal and was forced to leave the net. With the Flyers controlling most of the second and third periods the Sabres needed Miller to play well and he helped carry the team through.
This game was played a lot more cleanly than I had anticipated after the end of Game four.
I really hope that Jason Pominville is ok because the replay certainly looked like the skate caught his ankle area pretty well.
For five games the Flyers have forechecked as well as any team I can remember and it once again led to a goal. The game tying goal left Chris Butler off his feet and Mike Richards dumped the puck out front for Danny Briere to quickly put it in.
Game six on Easter Sunday should provide a unique atmosphere in the building and plaza. The Sabres have the opportunity to close the series out at home and there are rumors that Derek Roy could return and if Pominville is going to be out for a prolonged period of time it could be the type of boost that the Sabres need. The Sabres are going to need to be able to handle Philadelphia’s desperation and keep the crowd revving throughout the game.
- Tyler Ennis (2 goals)
- Claude Giroux (2 assists)
- Ryan Miller (36 saves and some big third period saves)