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NHL Playoffs: Flyers Defeat Sabres 4-2 To Take 2-1 Series Lead

Brian Boucher stopped 35 of 37 shots as the Flyers defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 to seize a 2-1 series lead in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal matchup.

Boucher was named the starter for game three after a solid performance in relief of rookie Sergei Bobrovsky in game two. Not only was Bob benched for this game three, he wasn’t even in pads as Flyers coach Peter Laviolette opted to dress Michael Leighton as the backup. After his performance tonight however, the only Flyers goalie anyone is thinking about right now is Boucher. He was asked after the game about how comfortable he looked tonight.

“I felt pretty good about my game lately and I’m just trying to give my team a chance making the saves I have to make. Luckily these last two games have gone well.”

He also assessed the series so far.

“I think we played pretty well in game one, I thought we could have won that game but that’s how it goes in the playoffs sometimes. Kind of an unusual win in game two, but this was more road like tonight, business like and we’re pretty happy to get it.”

The Flyers opened the scoring tonight when Jeff Carter tallied on the much maligned power play. However, the Sabres would fight back with a power play goal of their own midway through the period from Drew Stafford.

Danny Briere restored the Flyers lead in the second as his domination of his former team continues. According to Tim Panaccio, Briere now has five goals and four assists in seven games in Buffalo since becoming a Flyer. Nikolay Zherdev would score the eventual game winner later in the period, when he tapped in a nice feed from Mike Richards at the side of the net.

Less than two minutes later however, Buffalo would pull back to within one with a Nathan Gerbe goal. If Boucher made a mistake all night, it had to be on this shot, which he had a good view of but still beat him to the top right.

The Flyers tightened up on defense in the third, including a pivotal kill of a two man advantage seven minutes into the 3rd period. Kimmo Timmonen added in an empty net goal as the Flyers took a 2-1 series lead.

Game four is Wednesday night at 7:30 in Buffalo.