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03/10/2013 11:32 PM EDT
Flyers top Sabres 3-2 to end 3-game losing streak
PHILADELPHIA 3, BUFFALO 2

By DAN GELSTON
AP Sports Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Brayden Schenn made the save of the game for
the Philadelphia Flyers. No goalie pads necessary, just pure
hustle.



Schenn's quick swipe at a free puck just before it crossed the
line for the tying goal late in the third period was enough to
help the Flyers snap a three-game losing streak and beat the
Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Sunday night.



Claude Giroux, Simon Gagne and Max Talbot all scored and Ilya
Bryzgalov stopped 18 shots for the Flyers (12-14-1), who are
still on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff race.



"We had confidence in our play and were positive on the bench
and the room, so we had fun," Giroux said. "We need to be
confident in what we do out there."



Trailing by a goal with 5:40 left, Cody Hodgson's shot slipped
past Bryzgalov, positioned at the top of the crease. The puck
inched its way toward the line when Schenn swooped in with a
split-second lunge with his stick and cleared it for the save.
Back on the bench, Schenn simply shrugged at the play.



Without it, the Flyers might have been in a deeper hole than
they already are.



"I turned around to play defense and the shot deflected," Schenn
said. "I don't know how close it was to the goal line, but to
help Bryz out when I can is always a good feeling."



The win kept the Flyers in striking distance for a playoff spot.
They are ahead of the Sabres, who are buried in last place in
the Northeast Division and have lost four straight. Brian Flynn
and Jochen Hecht scored for Buffalo.



With both teams struggling, tempers were short. Buffalo's Mike
Weber slugged it out with Wayne Simmonds, and Sabres center
Steve Ott threw a punch at Kimmo Timonen.



Hecht scored early in the third to make it 3-2 and give the
Sabres some life. But Schenn followed with the save.



The Flyers will take the stops however they come. They needed
this one a day after a 3-0 loss at Boston. The Flyers held a
closed-door team meeting after the game.



"It doesn't take much to understand what's going on," Gagne
said. "You look at the standings, and I think everyone came to
the locker room today and looked at where we were at and how
many games we have left. I'm not good at math but if you look at
it we have to win games right now."



Philadelphia was coming off a 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh on
Thursday, going scoreless in the final two periods and blowing a
4-1 lead. The drought reached five periods on Saturday.



There was no danger of a slump against the Sabres. Gagne scored
his second goal since he was reacquired from Los Angeles on a
slow trickler past Ryan Miller on the power play. Talbot scored
Philadelphia's first short-handed goal of the season minutes
later for a 2-0 lead.



Flynn punched in the rebound to make it 2-1 midway through the
first.



Then they rumbled.



Simmonds took out Tyler Ennis and followed it with a fight
against Weber. Simmonds connected with three straight rights to
the side of the face and easily won that fight as the crowd
roared in appreciation. Weber was hit with a misconduct. Ennis
didn't return.



Ott threw a punch at Timonen to end the first. Hartnell went up
to Ott, and the two jawed at each other as they left the ice to
end the period.



Giroux made Buffalo pay when he scored only 17 seconds into the
third for Philadelphia's second power-play goal and a 3-1 lead.



"We've got to be ready to go," Sabres coach Ron Ralston said.
"We didn't have enough urgency or desperation off the start. We
kind of got a little back as the game went on."



The Flyers fumbled the puck at the blue line, and Hecht
capitalized with a short-handed goal to make it 3-2. It was just
too late.



Each team had more hits than goals from there. Buffalo forward
Nathan Gerbe tried to rough up Giroux along the back boards with
hits to the back and head. Luke Schenn stood up for Giroux and
sent Gerbe into the boards.



The Flyers showed they aren't about to back down as they jostle
for a playoff spot.



"We talked about coming out here tonight and actually playing
with an edge," Talbot said. "We're finishing our checks a bit
more. We're a dangerous team when we skate, play physical and
have two guys on the forecheck."



NOTES: The Flyers will play three games over the next 13 days.
... The Flyers have already played six sets of back-to-back
games this season. ... The Sabres are 3-4-1 since they fired
coach Lindy Ruff. ... Only Florida has fewer points in the
Eastern Conference.



---



Follow Dan Gelston at Twitter.com/APGgelston

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