VandeVelde’s goal lifts skidding Flyers over Sabres
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Chris VandeVelde scored a third-period breakaway goal to help the Philadelphia Flyers nsnap a six-game road losing streak and send the Sabres to their 10th straight regulation defeat with a 4-3 victory at Buffalo on Saturday night.
R.J. Umberger and Mark Streit scored power-play goals, and Mike Raffl also scored for Philadelphia, which won its fourth straight against the Sabres.
Zemgus Girgensons scored two goals, and Tyler Ennis added one for Buffalo, which became the first team since the 2006 Pittsburgh Penguins to lose 10 consecutive games in regulation, according to STATS.
The skid is two shy of Buffalo's worst, set in 1991 and matched in 2002.
Both teams were sloppy early. Flyers goalie Rob Zepp got his right leg out in front of Cody Hodgson's deflection in the game's first true chance almost seven minutes in.
Girgensons awakened the arena with 1:09 left in the first when he made it 1-0. Brian Flynn and Chris Stewart dug the puck out of a scrum and worked it to the slot, where Girgensons one-timed a shot that beat Zepp high.
With Girgensons in the box for holding, Umberger tied it by redirecting Matt Read's point shot over Michal Neuvirth's shoulder at 4:25 of the second.
Streit made it 2-1 with another power-play goal. Philadelphia worked the puck around the Sabres penalty killers until the veteran defenseman had an open point shot that beat Neuvirth to his right.
The Flyers earned a third power play in the second, but it nearly turned Buffalo's way when Girgensons stripped Streit at the blue line for a breakaway. Zepp stayed with Girgensons' left-handed move to push the chance wide.
The Sabres had another short-handed chance on the same penalty when Flynn's backhand shot on a partial breakaway was shouldered away by Zepp.
Buffalo broke through on Ennis' goal at 19:05 of the second. Rasmus Ristolainen's long slap shot hit the post to the left of Zepp. Matt Moulson dug the puck free for Ennis, whose close-range backhanded shot beat the goalie to tie it 2-2.
Play was stopped early in the third when Nikita Zadorov dropped Pierre-Edouard Bellemare with a shoulder to the body. Bellemare was still on the ice for a few seconds before skating off on his own. Zadorov was not penalized.
Philadelphia took a 3-2 lead on VandeVelde's breakaway. The Flyers center lost control of the puck, and the lack of a move fooled Neuvirth, and the puck went in between his legs.
Raffl doubled the Flyers advantage with a rebound goal at 8:39 of the third.
Girgensons made it 4-3 with a power-play goal with 1:09 remaining.
NOTES: The Flyers recalled forward Jason Akeson from Lehigh Valley of the AHL. ... Buffalo D Andrej Meszaros was a healthy scratch.
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