Flyers-Sabres: Game 18 Preview
Ben Simmons's Defense Does Not Rest

Hart Gets Shutout as Flyers Sweep Sabres

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

In his first start since the Lake Tahoe game a week ago, perhaps Carter Hart showed Brian Elliott that anything you can do, I can do better. One day after Elliott backstopped the Flyers to a 23-save shutout performance, Hart bested it with 28 saves.

Hart's performance plus three second-period goals were the difference, as the Flyers once again defeated the Sabres, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon to complete the weekend sweep.

In the opening period, the Flyers had to kill off an early power play for Buffalo, then let the game come to them. After allowing the Sabres to get seven of the first eight shots of the period, they finished with the final 12 of the period for a 13-7 advantage through 20 minutes. Despite some quality chances and a power play, the Flyers could not score either, leaving the game scoreless through the first.

It took just 22 seconds for the Flyers to get on the board in the second. Right off the opening face-off, Sean Couturier made a strong play to keep control of the puck in the slot, eventually dishing over to Joel Farabee. Farabee got a shot on net and the rebound came right out to Couturier with an open net to finish it off for his fifth goal of the season.

Just 1:15 later, the Flyers were back on the board. Once again off a face-off, Robert Hagg got the puck at the blue line and fired a shot that was deflected by Michael Raffl and in to make it 2-0.

The Flyers continued to dominate play as the middle period progressed, finishing with 21 shots on goal in the period. On an extended shift, the Flyers put on a clinic in the Buffalo zone, cycling the puck with all five players and winning battles to maintain possession. With tired Sabres on the ice, the puck was worked back to the blue line for Farabee, who purposely threw a shot-pass wide of the net and in the wheelhouse of James van Riemsdyk for the backhand deflection into the net to make it 3-0 with his 10th of the season.

After the second period, the Flyers had a 34-19 lead in shots.

The Flyers had to weather the storm early as the Sabres had to finish off a power play to open the period, then got another just over five minutes into the period. The Flyers penalty kill held up and Hart stood tall, continuing to maintain the 3-0 lead.

The Flyers were limited to just four shots in the period, but also allowed just nine as the Sabres were held at bay. The Flyers finished off the back-to-back shutouts, leaving Buffalo with four points in the standings.

Hart finished with 28 saves in the shutout win, his second career regular-season shutout. Jonas Johansson made 35 saves on 38 shots in the defeat.

Farabee and van Riemsdyk had multi-point games. The victory was also Alain Vigneault's 700th of his coaching career, becoming the ninth head coach in NHL history to reach that mark.

Box Score

  1 2 3 T
Flyers 0 3 0 3
Sabres 0 0 0 0

Scoring Summary

1st Period

  • No Scoring

2nd Period

  • PHI Sean Couturier (5) (Joel Farabee, James van Riemsdyk) 0:22
  • PHI Michael Raffl (3) (Robert Hagg, Phil Myers) 1:37
  • PHI van Riemsdyk (10) (Farabee, Ivan Provorov) 15:23

3rd Period

  • No Scoring

Game Statistics

  Flyers Sabres
Shots 38 28
Power Plays 0/2 0/3
Hits 13 19
Faceoff % 59.5% 40.5%
Giveaways 4 7
Takeaways 5 3
Blocked Shots 10 5
Penalty Minutes 6 4

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