Flyers aim to extend recent surge against Sabres

11:45 AM, Nov 21, 2013   |    comments
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( - The surging Philadelphia Flyers will take aim at their fifth win in six games, as the Buffalo Sabres visit the City of Brotherly Love for Thursday's battle at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers are 4-0-1 over their last five trips to the ice and opened a three- game homestand with Tuesday's 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. It was the second straight home win for Philadelphia, marking the first time this season the club has strung together consecutive victories as the host.

The recent surge has helped move 8-10-2 Philadelphia within two victories of the .500 mark after the team began this season by losing nine of 12 games.

Philadelphia used a pair of quick goals in the third period as the turning point in their recent win over the Senators. Kimmo Timonen scored with 8:30 to play to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead and Wayne Simmonds notched a goal just 23 seconds later. Adam Hall added an empty-netter in the closing minute to seal the victory.

"We are confident in ourselves," said Simmonds. "We know what we have to do. In the room, we talk about it and today was great. Every guy did their job and the result went our way."

Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier also scored goals, while Steve Mason stopped 32 shots for the Flyers.

The Flyers, who will cap this homestand Saturday against the New York Islanders, are 4-7-0 as the host this season.

Buffalo, meanwhile, is 3-8-0 on the road this season and has dropped three straight as the guest. The Sabres also have lost three in a row and four of their past five games in Philly.

The Sabres have lost two straight after earning a win over Toronto in Ted Nolan's return as head coach last Friday. Buffalo fell to the Maple Leafs on Saturday in the road portion of a home-and-home before dropping a 4-1 decision Tuesday against visiting St. Louis.

Buffalo took a 1-0 lead over the Blues just 10 seconds into the game after a goal from Tyler Ennis, but it was all St. Louis from there. Brenden Morrow scored a pair of goals and Jaroslav Halak made 23 saves for the Blues.

Ryan Miller allowed all four goals on 31 shots in the setback.

"I think our youth really showed tonight," Nolan said. "This is one of the better teams in the National Hockey League that can really expose your flaws. We knew it was going to be tough. We've just got to keep teaching, keep learning."

Buffalo will follow Thursday's road game with three straight on home ice. The homestand is set to begin Sunday against Detroit.

The Sabres have two wins in the past three meetings against Philadelphia, but the Flyers have claimed five of the past seven encounters.

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