Gionta gets 500th point as Sabres top Flyers in SO

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The Boston Bruins’ recent slide has created an opening for teams trailing in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but Philadelphia hasn’t been able to capitalize on that. Tonight was another example as the Flyers suffered a 3-2 shootout loss to the NHL-worst Buffalo Sabres.

Sabres goaltender Michal Neuvirth was superb as he stopped 36 of 38 Flyers shots. He also had a strong game against Philadelphia on Sunday, but in that case he wasn’t rewarded for his efforts as Buffalo suffered a 2-1 loss. Still, he’s kicked out 98 of 103 shots over a three-game stretch, which is good for a .951 save percentage.

“For a young goaltender trying to establish himself as a number one, the difference makers, that’s how you’ve got to be,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said, per the team’s Twitter feed.

This was a big night for Brian Gionta too as he found the back of the net early in the second period to earn his 500th career point in 821 games.

Brian Flynn netted the winner in the shootout.

Philadelphia has only won two of its last seven contests. It has earned four consolation points over those five losses, but the Flyers haven’t gained nearly as much ground as they could have over Boston’s recent five-game slump. Instead the Florida Panthers are in a better position to overtake Boston.