Final

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Buffalo leads 3-1

Game 1: Tuesday, October 17th
Flyers1Final
Sabres9
Game 2: Saturday, November 11th
Sabres5Final
OT
Flyers4
Game 3: Tuesday, February 20th
Flyers3Final
Sabres6
Game 4: Sunday, April 8th
Sabres3Final
Flyers4

Flyers 1

(1-4-1, 3 pts)

Sabres 9

(6-0-0, 12 pts)

Coverage: NBCSN

7:00 PM ET, October 17, 2006

First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York

1 2 3 T
PHI 0 0 11
BUF 0 6 39

T. Vanek (Sabres - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 2

M. Afinogenov (Sabres - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 4

R. Miller (Sabres - G): Saves: 37, Save Pct.: .974

Sabres pound Esche, Flyers to win sixth straight

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- First the Sabres were winning the tight ones. Now they're blowing teams out.

Buffalo has rolled to a perfect start through six games. With a 9-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night, the Sabres don't seem to be slowing down a bit.

Elias Says
The Sabres and the Flyers played a scoreless first period, but then six different Buffalo players scored in the second period to spearhead a 9-1 victory.

All right, NHL fans, which do you think happened more often in NHL games -- 1) a team scoring nine or more goals after being held scoreless in the first period; or, 2) six different teammates scoring a goal in the same period?

• For the answer and the rest of Elias Says, click here

"Not all games are going to go like this," coach Lindy Ruff said. "You're painting a pretty picture. But it hasn't been that easy."

The Sabres are sure making it look that way, taking full control against the Flyers with a six-goal second-period outburst.

Maxim Afinogenov had a goal and four assists, Thomas Vanek had two goals and two assists and Derek Roy scored twice for Buffalo, two wins shy of matching its best start set in 1975.

The Sabres have also won 11 straight regular-season games, tying the franchise record established 31 years ago.

Still, no one's getting too excited.

"Just take it in stride and handling it with maturity," said Ryan Miller, who stopped 37 shots and denied Mike Richards on a penalty shot in the first period. "We're not going to celebrate. You could easily be on the other end of a game like that."

Tell that to the Flyers (1-4-1), who are having difficulty finding their offense and unraveling on defense. It was the most goals they've allowed since a 9-4 loss at Pittsburgh on Feb. 9, 2001.

"It's totally embarrassing," captain Peter Forsberg said. "It's not one or two guys, it's the whole team."

And no one was pointing fingers at Robert Esche, who allowed nine goals on 37 shots. Making his first start since the season opener, Esche was left helpless by a flat-footed defense that couldn't keep up against the Sabres' speedy forwards.

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Vanek sparked the goal surge, converting his own rebound 37 seconds into the middle period. By the time the frame was over, Buffalo had scored six times on 12 shots, converted three of four power-play chances and ended the period by scoring three times in a 2½-minute span.

The Sabres added three more in the first five minutes of the third period.

After winning their first four games by one-goal margins and three in shootouts, Buffalo has outscored its last two opponents 16-5. They beat the New York Rangers 7-4 on Saturday.

"We didn't try to run it up," said Chris Drury, who scored once to extend his point streak to six games (seven goals and three assists). "Coaches just kept preaching our system, and things just kept kind of clicking."

Also scoring for the Sabres were Jiri Novotny, Jaroslav Spacek and Henrik Tallinder.

Jeff Carter spoiled Miller's shutout bid by scoring two minutes into the third period, but the Flyers have managed just 12 goals in six games.

"I don't think we'll self-destruct," Carter said. "We did all of the self-destructing tonight. Hopefully, this is rock bottom."

It was the first meeting between the teams since Buffalo beat Philadelphia 7-1 in Game 6 to win last year's first-round playoff series. And this was reminiscent of Buffalo's 8-2 drubbing of the Flyers in Game 2 of that series. The Sabres again showed their speed was too much for Philadelphia's plodding defense.

That was particularly evident when Afinogenov capped the second-period run. The speedy winger went end-to-end, maneuvered around a flat-footed Derian Hatcher and jammed the puck past Esche.

Game notes


The six goals allowed by the Flyers in the second period matched a franchise worst, last done against New Jersey in March 1993. ... The Flyers have failed on their last four penalty shots and are 12-of-33 overall. Miller has not allowed a goal on two penalty shots. The Sabres have yielded 17 goals on 40 chances. ... The Sabres' six-goal period was three short of a franchise record and their most since scoring six against Ottawa in October 1992.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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