It must have seemed like a bad dream or déjà vu for the Flyers. Once again they were stymied by the Sabres’ goaltender Ryan Miller to steal yet another playoff game.
This time Miller stopped all 32 shots he faced to blank the Flyers for the second time by the score of 1-0.
Only this time, the ending came to a head in a big way.
In what was building up throughout the game, several scrums ensued after the final horn sounded with several Flyers and Sabres getting into it on the ice for at least five minute at the end.
“I think that’s always the case in the playoffs,” said Brian Boucher. “Things get heated up after games like this. Especially in one goal games where guys are taking shots at one another, so that’s playoff hockey.”
Not to be outdone, Boucher stood on his head and had plenty of saves to keep it a one-goal game and give his team a chance to win right up until the end.
Boucher also dealt with his share of penalty kills, including almost a full five-minute major to start the third period, in which he or the penalty killing unit came through.
“Yeah those guys stepped up big. The [penalty kill] Betts, Powe, those guys have done a great job all year,” said James van Riemsdyk, who had six shots in total in Game 4. “They don’t get a lot of credit, but they’ve been unbelievable for us, especially to kill off a five-minute power play, basically going every other shift was pretty incredible.”
With only three seconds remaining in the second period, Flyers captain Mike Richards was called for elbowing and assessed a five-minute major.
Richards was never given an explanation for the major penalty.
The series now becomes a best of three battle as it shifts back to Philadelphia tied at 2-2. Game Five is Friday, April 22, which you can catch on Comcast SportsNet at 7:30 p.m. ET or listen in live on Sports Radio 610 WIP or philadelphiaflyers.com.
|* The Flyers are 34-22 in Game 5’s all-time… When a series is tied 2-2, the Flyers are 12-8 in Game 5’s.
* The Flyers have not been shut out twice in a series since the 2002 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, when they were shut out in three consecutive games (2, 3 and 4) by Ottawa. All three games were 3-0 scores. The Flyers lost the series 4 games to 1.
* It is just the fourth time in franchise history the Flyers have been shut out more than once in a playoff series (1969 QF vs. STL, 1973 QF vs. Minnesota, 1989 Wales Conference Finals vs. Montreal, 2002 ECQF vs. Ottawa). In the Minnesota series, the Flyers were shut out in Games 1 and 3 and came back to win the series in six games.
* It’s the first time in franchise history the Flyers have been shut out 1-0 twice in the same series. The two shutouts are just the third and fourth 1-0 shutout losses in the playoffs in franchise history.
* The Flyers put 65 shots towards the net tonight (32 on net, 14 blocked, 19 missed). The Flyers have now put more than 60 shots towards the net in three of the four games of the series; the two highest (tonight’s 65 and Game 1’s 74) came in the two shutout losses.
* James van Riemsdyk had a team-high six shots on goal and a total of 10 pucks toward the net (two were blocked, two missed). Braydon Coburn had a total of nine pucks toward the net (three on net, three blocked, three missed).
* The Sabres were credited with 11 takeaways on the night; the Flyers were credited with none. The Flyers only had two games the entire regular season with no takeaways. The Flyers were only charged with three giveaways, while the Sabres committed nine.
* Fifteen of the Flyers’ 18 skaters recorded at least one shot on net; one of the ones who did not was Jeff Carter, who only played six minutes (other two were O’Donnell & Syvret).
* Ville Leino won all five faceoffs he took tonight.
|“We’re going back to our building where we feel comfortable playing in front of our fans and it’s going to be loud in there on Friday night.”
-- Flyers captain Mike Richards
“I think we knew it was going to be a war from the start. It’s going to be a tough series and it’s what makes a series exciting. This is what playoff hockey is all about, so we’re excited about the next going forward.”
-- Kris Versteeg
“Defensively I thought we did a pretty good job and offensively it seemed like we had the game down there and just couldn’t get by him [Ryan Miller].”
-- Peter Laviolette
|For a third straight game Brian Boucher takes home the Flyers star of the night. Boucher stopped 28 of 29 shots, fought off a breakaway from Tyler Ennis, and several shots from sniper Thomas Vanek.
Its hard to place the blame on Boucher’s only blemish of the night, a post-to-post pass down low in which Jason Pominville capitalized on.
Boucher now boasts a 1.45 goals-against average though three appearances in the series to go along with a .954 save percentage in over 165 minutes played.
The turning point in tonight’s game came in the first period when defenseman Tyler Myers got his stick on a shot from James van Riemsdyk that would have tied it at 1-1 and gotten the Flyers on the board.
The Flyers were then faced with the challenge of beating goaltender Ryan Miller and a Sabres defense that was sitting back and protecting a one-goal lead.
The Flyers were also without the services of their leading goal-scorer Jeff Carter. Carter left the game in the first period and did not return due to a lower-body injury. He is listed as day-to-day.
|UTZ PIC OF THE NIGHT: Sabres forward crashes into the net and breaks up a 2-on-1
Sabres 1, Flyers 0
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Ryan Miller made 32 saves for his second shutout of the playoffs and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 on Wednesday night to even the first-round playoff series 2-2.
Jason Pominville scored at 9:38 of the first period to help the Sabres rebound from two straight losses.
It was Miller's third career playoff shutout and second of the series after he stopped 35 shots in Buffalo's 1-0 victory in Game 1.
Miller's best stops came in the final 9 minutes. First, there was his glove save in stopping Danny Briere, who was set up alone in front. A few minutes later, Miller reached back with his stick to prevent Mike Richards from slipping a shot into an open left side.
The series shifts to Philadelphia for Game 5 on Friday night.
Flyers goalie Brian Boucher was sharp, too, in stopping 28 shots.
Boucher has allowed only four goals on 87 shots since replacing rookie Sergei Bobrovsky in the first period of Philadelphia's 5-4 victory in Game 2 on Saturday.