Recap: Nilsson and Reinhart Lead Sabres Over Flyers

The Buffalo Sabres continued their strong start to 2017 picking up another win and securing seven of an eight possible points to start the new year. The other important development is picking up a win against an Eastern Conference opponent that’s ahead of them in the standings. They played a solid game throughout and never really looked to be in much trouble.

Buffalo got the timely saves from Anders Nilsson and their big offensive players were strong. The perfect recipe for a victory. Nilsson was exceptional making 39 saves on 40 shots. Combine that with a team that is now healthy with the majority of their important pieces playing and you have the potential for the Sabres to make some noise in the second half of the season.

First Period

The Sabres and Flyers started by feeling each other out without a lot of action. As the period went on the pace picked up. Both teams exchanged scoring chances, but neither team was able to break through. The highlight of the period was the spirited scrap between Nic Deslauriers and Brandon Manning.

Anders Nilsson was on his game in the first period. He made a few nice saves on a late period Flyers power play to keep the game scoreless after one.

Second Period

The Sabres took control of the game in the second period. Sam Reinhart got the Sabres on the board with his seventh goal of the season on the power play. Eichel and Reinhart then connected for a few great chances but were unable to put the second goal on the board.

However, thank you to a juicy rebound from Steve Mason, Will Carrier netted his second of the season. The Flyers had a late push, but in the dying seconds, Evander Kane potted the third Buffalo goal of the period to send them to the locker room up 3-0 after 40 minutes.

Nilsson was on his game again in the second frame when he was tested by the Flyers. He made a sequence of excellent saves including a point-blank shot from Shayne Gostisbehere minutes before Kane’s third goal. The Buffalo defense did a good job controlling the front of the net which allowed Nilsson to get a good view of the shots heading his way.

Third Period

The Flyers brought the pressure in the third as expected. Philadelphia had a number of shots in the period, but nothing that threatening. The Sabres defense did a good job of keeping everything to the outside. Memories of the early October game where the Sabres blew a 3-0 third-period lead floated through the heads of some.

On this night the Flyers could not come back. The Sabres’ defense along with Nilsson stood strong. The Flyers scored a goal late in the period off Brayden Schenn’s 13th of the season on the power play to spoil Nilsson’s shutout. Foligno added an empty-net goal in the final seconds of the third to wrap up a 4-1 victory for Buffalo.


Scoring Summary




BUF-Sam Reinhart (9) PPG assisted by Rasmus Ristolainen and Ryan O’Reilly

BUF-William Carrier (2) assisted by Taylor Fedun and Ryan O’Reilly

BUF-Evander Kane (10) assisted by Sam Reinhart and Zach Bogosian


Brayden Schenn (13) PPG assisted by Claude Giroux and Ivan Provorov

Marcus Foligno (8) ENG assisted by Sam Reinhart and Jake McCabe

THW Three Stars

First: Anders Nilsson (39 saves 1 GA)

Second: Sam Reinhart (1 G, 2 A)

Third: Ryan O’Reilly (2 A)

Next Up

Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Bay Lightning

Amalie Arena – 7:30 p.m. EST (Thursday, Jan. 12)

Broadcast channels: MSG-B

2016-17 Season Series: Nov. 17 – Lightning 4, Sabres 1 

Next Up

Vancouver Canucks at Philadelphia Flyers

Wells Fargo Center – 7:00 p.m. EST (Thursday, Jan. 12)

Broadcast channels: CSN-PH, SNP