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Flyers get back in the game, but Sabres take 4-3 lead to avenge Mike Richards hit

Apr 24, 2011, 5:29 PM EST

Buffalo Sabres v New York Islanders Getty Images

Buffalo Sabres fans serenaded Brian Boucher with chants of “Booouuuu-cheeeer” during many times in the second period, but the Philadelphia Flyers managed to get back into the game thanks in part to the veteran’s slightly more stable netminding.

Sure, the one Nathan Gerbe goal Boucher did allow was pretty brutal, but he played much better than Michael Leighton did in that ugly first period. Boucher stopped 17 out of 18 shots in the second period, giving Philly some hope of coming back in a crucial Game 6.

Buffalo 4, Philadelphia 3; Sabres lead series 3-2

James van Riemsdyk continued his breakout playoff run with his third goal of the series just 49 seconds into the second. That 3-2 goal silenced the Buffalo crowd a bit and Danny Briere continued to torment his former team with a power-play goal. Briere scored his second goal of the game and fifth of the series to make it 3-3.

Things were looking good for the Flyers, but they continue to self-destruct. Mike Richards delivered the latest questionable hit of the playoffs when he pushed Tim Connolly‘s head into the boards with a hit from behind. He received a two-minute boarding penalty but probably deserved a five-minute major on the play, especially considering his checkered past of hits and Connolly’s own history of head injuries. You can bet that Richards will get suspension attention, although it might be a moot point if the Flyers get booted from the playoffs.

Either way, it’s getting tougher and tougher to ignore Richards’ long line of questionable hits, even if he somehow is without a suspension on his record. The Flyers actually survived the 5-on-3 that resulted from that penalty to Richards plus one to Kris Versteeg, but Gerbe scored the go-head goal shortly after that successful kill.

It’s been a wide open game, so don’t be surprised if there’s more drama in the third period. Philadelphia certainly hopes so, because if it evens up being a score-less final 20 minutes, their season is over.

Click here to watch Game 6 with us on NHL Extra

  1. mjoyce007 - Apr 24, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    No talk at intermission on the hit on Connely? Bet if it was Briere. You would’ve mentioned it. And Vanek’s second goal was world class. It is obvious who the NBC STAFF is pulling for. Terrible commentators on NBC! Just stop covering Sabres game so o can listen to RJ, the best in the business.

    • James O'Brien - Apr 24, 2011 at 6:15 PM

      Here’s the paragraph regarding the hit on Tim Connolly, in case you … missed it.

      Things were looking good for the Flyers, but they continue to self-destruct. Mike Richards delivered the latest questionable hit of the playoffs when he pushed Tim Connolly‘s head into the boards with a hit from behind. He received a two-minute boarding penalty but probably deserved a five-minute major on the play, especially considering his checkered past of hits and Connolly’s own history of head injuries. You can bet that Richards will get suspension attention, although it might be a moot point if the Flyers get booted from the playoffs.

  2. mjoyce007 - Apr 24, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Typing on my phone, so there’s some typos, but you get the point

  3. mjoyce007 - Apr 24, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    I saw the blog, I was talking about the intermission report. It’sok, you didn’t dram it worthy to put on air. Playoffs hockey brings out the worst in me. I feel like there is always less praise for the Sabers play and more emphasis on failures of the Flyers. Did you actually see the move that Vanek pulled for goal #2? If it was OV. wed see it in 4 different angles and it would be the top play of the week not as the commentators put it a horrific goal that that the netminder failed to save. Oh well, we’ll see about what kind of action the league takes with Richards. I assume he will get the Chara free pass and play game 7

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