Friday, December 19, 2014

Flyers snap skid

PHILADELPHIA—The Philadelphia Flyers picked up their defence and their drive to snap their losing streak.
Playing the lowly Buffalo Sabres helped, too.

Brayden Schenn scored two goals as the Flyers broke a four-game skid with a 5-2 win over Buffalo last night.
Philadelphia, 0-2-2 in its previous four games, maintained third place in the Metropolitan Division—two points ahead of Columbus, who blanked the N.Y. Islanders 4-0 yesterday.
With four games left, the Flyers trail the second-place N.Y. Rangers by two points but have a game in hand.
“Our intensity was up, and guys were skating and working right away in the game,” noted Philadelphia coach Craig Berube.
“It was important for the confidence level just to get guys’ spirits back up.”
The Flyers hadn’t played poorly during the losing streak, which included two defeats to Boston and one to St. Louis.
The Bruins and Blues lead their respective conferences.
Schenn, Vincent Lecavalier, and Zac Rinaldo scored second-period goals to put Philadelphia ahead 4-0.
Matt Read also scored while Mark Streit had three assists.
“I thought we played a solid team game, defence-first mentality,” Schenn said.
“Two points is key,” he added. “We just have to worry about ourselves and worry about the two points each night.”
Cory Hodgson and Mike Weber scored third-period goals for Buffalo, which lost its sixth-straight road game and fell to 2-13-1 in its last 16 overall.
The Sabres—assured of finishing with the fewest points in the NHL—have scored just eight goals during their road skid.
Buffalo, already missing 10 players due to injuries, might have lost another as Chad Ruhwedel sustained a concussion on a third-period hit by Rinaldo, who was given a match penalty for the blow to Ruhwedel’s head.
“There’s no big brother for them,” Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said of his inexperienced players.
“They have to sink or swim, and certain games like this, it’s going to catch up to us.”
Rinaldo, who entered with a team-high 137 penalty minutes, racked up 16 yesterday and could face an NHL suspension.
“I had a lot of speed going at him. I put my shoulder down, and as he shot the puck my shoulder hit him clearly,” Rinaldo conceded.
“Proof is in the pudding right there.
“I shouldn’t have done it. There’s no need for it,” he stressed.
“We’re up 4-0, but it’s part of the game.”
Elsewhere in the NHL, Edmonton beat Anaheim 4-2, Chicago doubled St. Louis 4-2, Florida edged Dallas 3-2, and Pittsburgh nipped Colorado 3-2 (SO).

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