The Philadelphia Flyers dropped their fourth straight contest today in Buffalo with a 1-0 loss to the Sabres. Jhonas Enroth stopped 29 shots for his first shutout this season, while Christian Ehrhoff had the game’s lone goal in the first minute of the third period.
Despite a late-game flurry by the Orange and Black, the visitors couldn’t put a single shot past Enroth to extend the game. With several chances in the final minute of the game, Danny Briere rang one off the crossbar with one second left to make it that much more painful.
“It’s just the way things are going these days around here,” Briere said after the loss. “It’s unfortunate, but we had our chances, a lot more chances earlier in the game that we didn’t capitalize on. I don’t think we did enough in the offensive zone anyway to deserve the win. [You've] got to give the Sabres credit. They came, they played hard in their building.”
Ehrhoff potted the only goal 17 seconds into the final period thanks to a fortunate bounce off the end boards.
“It’s tough,” Paul Holmgren said after the contest. “I’ve said this a few times here in the last few weeks. Nobody likes the position we’re in. It’s tough to take and scoring three goals in the last four games is, I’m sure, real tough to take for the players, too. We just have to dig in now and play hard. That’s all you can do.”
With a slap shot from the point, the disc made it through traffic and hit the end boards. After the biscuit hit the boards, it bounced towards the post to Steve Mason’s right and hit off the back of Mason’s skate before trickling over the goal line. Ehrhoff’s fifth of 2013 was all Enroth and the Sabres needed for victory.
Mason had a great game, but suffered the loss thanks to an unlucky bounce and the Flyers’ inability to register a single goal. The former Columbus Blue Jacket made several stellar saves in the second period on a handful of odd-man rushes to let Philly enter the third period tied in a scoreless tilt.
The game started with a scrap between Patrick Kaleta and Oliver Lauridsen. The blue liner skated behind Mason’s net to pick up the loose puck when Buffalo’s pest came flying in for a hit. Lauridsen got the better of the check and continued to cross check Kaleta after the collision until the pair dropped the gloves. Kaleta abused Lauridsen before the tandem was sent to the sin bin.
Both Jay Rosehill and Steve Ott earned unsportsmanlike conducts less than two minutes later before Philly experienced their first man advantage of the game 7:44 in, as the Sabres were called for a too many men on the ice infraction. The Orange and Black didn’t provide many chances on the power play and let the game stay tied.
Although the Flyers had more scoring chances and left the first period with a 10-6 shot advantage, the game was scoreless to start the second stanza.
The middle frame consisted of several scoring chances for the Sabres, all of which were denied by Mason. Despite the Sabres’ advantage in extremely close chances, the hosts only outshot the Flyers 9-8 in the second period.
Following Ehrhoff’s tally to start the final stanza, the Orange and Black failed to convert on any of their chances to tie the game.
Shortly after the goal, Marcus Foligno was sent off for a high-sticking minor on Rosehill. Philly threw two shots towards Enroth in their two minutes on the power play, but the netminder only had to make a save on one, as Scott Hartnell’s attempt missed the cage.
Philadelphia had several opportunities in the final three minutes of the game, as the squad recorded four shots on net in the midst of their immense offensive pressure that concluded with Briere’s shot off the pipe with one second left.
The Flyers will try to end their losing streak on Monday when they visit the Bell Centre to take on the Montreal Canadiens.
Notes: Philly dropped to 2-8 in games when they entered the third period tied…Briere returned to action today after missing 10 games with a concussion. He had three shots on net in 18:51 TOI…Kurtis Foster played in his 400th NHL game today. He had a shot on net and one blocked shot in 11:45 TOI…Today’s loss marked the third time this season the Flyers were shut out…Today was Enroth’s third career shutout…Chad Ruhwedel made his NHL debut today for the Sabres. He had one shot on net in 13:00 TOI…The Flyers will finish this season 1-2-0 against the Sabres. They were 4-0-0 against Buffalo last season…The Flyers dropped to 5-7-0 against the Northeast Division this season (MTL 1-1-0, BOS 1-1-0, TOR 1-2-0, OTT 1-1-0, BUF 1-2-0)…The Flyers dropped to 17-21-3. They were 25-12-4 after 41 games last year.