The New York Islanders fell to the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center Friday night in a shootout after getting a late goal to tie the game in the third period. From the opening faceoff, the Isles lacked the energy to compete with a Sabres team bent on playing spoiler.
Despite the loss, the Isles moved up from eighth to sixth in the Eastern Conference, pending the results of the final game for the New York Rangers and the final two games for the Ottawa Senators.
Heading into Sunday night, the Flyers had allowed seven straight goals, blowing a 4-1 lead to Pittsburgh to lose 5-4 on Thursday and then getting shut-out 3-0 to the Bruins on Saturday.
Speed and an inability to have a physical presence in front of the net cost the Flyers the game on Thursday. Saturday's loss was three minutes of embarrassing hockey in which they were again out-worked.
Compound those two losses with the 4-2 loss to New York on Tuesday in which the Rangers scored three unanswered to win and the Flyers found themselves on a three-game losing streak and three games under .500.
Hosting the last-place Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, the Flyers needed to drastically change something.
(Pictured: Wayne Simmonds fights with Mike Weber in the first period after Simmonds' hit on Tyler Ennis. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Something had to have been said before the game because a different Flyers team was out on the ice.
The Flyers controlled the tempo early, kept Buffalo mentally out of the game, and gave a much better team effort that didn't resemble last week's edition of the Flyers.
They had to battle with Buffalo though, who was throwing the body around and trying to draw the Flyers into making mental mistakes with the physical game. In the end, the Flyers overcame it, winning a nail-biting 3-2 game in which head coach Peter Laviolette saw some positives.
(Pictured: The puck gets passed Ilya Bryzgalov, but was then saved by Brayden Schenn before it crossed the goal line. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)