Danny Briere, Andrej Meszaros

Flyers play like a two seed, dominate Sabres 5-2 to win series in seventh game

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In the night’s first Game 7 the drama never really got going as the Flyers made efficient work of the Sabres and took them out in Game 7 with a 5-2 win. The Flyers got out to a roaring start in the first period outshooting Buffalo 16-2 in the period on the way to taking a 1-0 lead thanks to Braydon Coburn scoring a soft goal from the point that Ryan Miller couldn’t close his five hole fast enough to stop. That goal and the shots in the period set the tone for the rest of the game as the Flyers opened it up in the second.

Former Sabre Daniel Briere continued to be a thorn in Buffalo’s side making it 2-0 4:45 into the period. James van Riemsdyk would make it 3-0 late in the second on a power play goal. With the score at 3-0, things got tenuous as that score has been the bogeyman throughout the playoffs for any team in the lead. The Flyers would make it stick.

Ville Leino scored 1:59 into the third to make it 4-0 and then chase Ryan Miller from the game. The Sabres would score to break the shutout thanks to Tyler Myers, but Dan Carcillo would add a goal to make it 5-1. Brad Boyes would add a power play goal late to make it look more respectable, but the Flyers dominated Buffalo all through the game.

The Flyers sustained pressure all game long and made the Sabres have to burrow in defensively to try and help Miller. Unfortunately for Buffalo, Miller seemed off his game and rattled by the swarming presence Philadelphia brought all game long. The entire Sabres roster tonight didn’t seem to know how to handle the Flyers forcing their play upon them.

Flat out, the Flyers finally looked like the team that had dominated the Eastern Conference for most of the season. Not since February or March have we seen them play a physically and offensively dominating game like that. If they can do that the rest of the way through the playoffs, these Flyers are a force to be reckoned with.

WATCH LIVE: Dallas Stars at Minnesota Wild

Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza (90) and Minnesota Wild right wing Justin Fontaine (14) chase the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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The Minnesota Wild hope to turn things around, yet facing the Dallas Stars certainly ratchets up the degree of difficulty.

On the other hand, sometimes that’s the best way to regain confidence: overcome an especially formidable obstacle.

Whether the Wild flounder or rebound, you can watch the action on NBCSN and stream it via the link below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

After 8-1 loss to Isles, Oilers send Reinhart to AHL, make Schultz healthy scratch

Edmonton Oilers' Justin Schultz (19) and New York Rangers' Dominic Moore (28) fight for control of the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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Not surprisingly, Edmonton’s 8-1 loss to the Islanders on Sunday didn’t pass without consequences.

The Oilers announced this morning that defenseman Griffin Reinhart had been sent down to the AHL. Additionally, defenseman Justin Schultz is expected to be a healthy scratch tonight in New Jersey.

Reinhart was a team-worst minus-4 versus the Isles.

Schultz, whose name has been coming up in trade rumors…

…was a minus-2.

“He needs to watch a game and reflect on his play and what his impact is offensively and defensively,” coach Todd McLellan told reporters of the decision to sit Schultz against the Devils.

Darnell Nurse and Adam Clendening, scratches in Brooklyn, will replace Reinhart and Schultz in the lineup.

Turris understands Drouin’s situation, says requesting trade out of Phoenix ‘saved’ him

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Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.

Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”

Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.

As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.

Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.

Simmonds tells AV ‘I’m not a dirty player,’ says he had ‘no intention of hurting’ McDonagh with punch

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Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds has taken exception to criticisms from Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault, in the wake of Simmonds concussing Blueshirts captain Ryan McDonagh with a punch over the weekend.

“Vigneault can say whatever he wants. He’s the coach, that’s his opinion,” Simmonds said, per CSN Philly. “I don’t really care. I’m protecting myself; guy comes to cross check you in the head. I didn’t know what he expected. I had no intention of hurting him and I feel bad about that. That’s not what I want.

“I may play physical and I like to take the body. I fight occasionally. But by no means am I a dirty player, trying to run around and injure guys.”

Simmonds was tossed from Saturday’s game after punching McDonagh, but wasn’t suspended by the league. McDonagh missed New York’s next game — Monday’s 2-1 win over the Devils — and the lack of supplemental discipline incident irked Vigneault, who had words for both the officials and Simmonds.

“An All-Star player gets sucker-punched, goes down,” Vigneault said following the Flyers game, per The Record. “I wonder if that’s (Sidney) Crosby, what happens? What are the consequences?”

At this point, it’s probably worth noting the Flyers and Rangers play each other on Sunday night (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Worth circling that one on the ol’ calendar, methinks.