Daniel Carcillo and the rest of Philadelphia’s third-and fourth-line players put up some big numbers against stingy Buffalo.
Carcillo scored twice and Ray Emery made 28 saves to lead the Flyers to their fifth straight victory over the Sabres, 5-2 on Friday night. Known more for their top two trios that include stars like Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and Scott Hartnell, the Flyers got three goals and three assists from their pluggers to improve to 8-4-1 with their third straight win.
“I think we can all play, and play against any line of the league,” Carcillo said about his comrades on the bottom rung of the Philadelphia line ladder. “Fourth line, third line … it’s just a name I guess.”
Carcillo linemate Ian Laperriere had a pair of assists, centre Blair Betts had a helper, and fourth line pivot Darroll Powe scored a third-period goal.
“Some nights the puck follows you, hits you, and it goes in,” Laperriere said. “It’s fun to play with guys like Betts and Carcillo. They work hard, and they go to the net.”
The end result was an impressive win over a Buffalo team that came in as the NHL’s stingiest defensive unit.
“We knew they have had success both offensively and defensively, so we talked about getting bodies in front of (Ryan) Miller and we did that,” said Emery, who improved to 5-1-0 in his last six starts. “We got a lead early, chipped in some late goals, and played well defensively.”
Chris Pronger had a goal and assist, and James van Riemsdyk also scored, for the Flyers, who’ve outscored their opponents by a 17-5 margin during their three-game winning stretch.
“They were the better team,” Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. “You can’t find any argument against that. I’m not going to mask it, it wasn’t a good night for us. We didn’t help ourselves a lot.”
Derek Roy had a power-play goal and assist, rookie Tyler Myers also scored with the man advantage for Buffalo, and Ryan Miller made 32 saves. The Sabres (9-3-1) have lost two of their last three after an 8-1-1 start.
“We can be better,” Buffalo forward Mike Grier said. “We have a good record and the league is going to watch how we do in these games. We have to show that we’re willing not to back down.”
Carcillo opened the scoring with 1:21 left in the first period, deflecting defenceman Braydon Coburn’s shot from the top of the left circle. It was Carcillo’s first goal in 47 games, and first regular season tally for Philadelphia.
Pronger made it 2-0 with his third just 28 seconds into the second period.
Roy cut the lead in half four minutes later, but van Riemsdyk gave the Flyers a 3-1 edge with 5:05 left in the middle frame when his cross-ice pass from below the right circle went off Miller’s right leg and into the net.
Powe added his fourth with a slapshot that handcuffed Miller from the top of the left circle 2:34 into the third period, and Myers made it 4-2 exactly eight minutes later.
Carcillo capped the scoring with an empty-net goal with 48 seconds remaining to record his first multi-goal game since the 2007-08 season finale against Anaheim.
“We did a good job of being physical and getting in their face,” Carcillo said. “We want to get on a roll and gain some points and momentum.”
NOTES: Former Sabres co-captain Danny Briere missed his third game for the Flyers because of a groin strain. … Sabres C Tim Connolly played in his 499th career NHL game. He earned his 300th career NHL point with an assist on Roy’s goal. … Carcillo’s last goal was Jan. 18 at Edmonton when he was with Phoenix. … Philadelphia snapped a two-game road losing streak.