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Luukkonen, Quinn lead way for Sabres, Flyers lose crucial game, 4-2

(Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press)

Ivan Fedotov‘s first NHL start didn’t go according to plan, as the Philadelphia Flyers could not respond to the Buffalo Sabres in a 4-2 defeat at KeyBank Center.

Jack Quinn scored twice to lead the way offensively for Buffalo, while Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was remarkable in goal by making 31 saves on 33 shots.

“I thought we played the right way,” said Flyers head coach John Tortorella after the game. “This is as on (our) toes as we’ve been in a few weeks.

“We have to bury some of our chances obviously, but that’s the way we need to play.”

The Flyers outshot Buffalo 33-19 and were in control for large portions of the game, but they just never found more ways to score.

In their own end, Fedotov stopped just 15 of 19 shots for the Flyers in his first start.

“Not best game for me,” said Fedotov postgame. “Great feelings, first start game in NHL. One-hundred percent I should be better. Better adapted and better to do all things, and one-hundred percent it was really tough game for me.”

It certainly wasn’t the result that Fedotov and the Flyers wanted, and they’ll have their work cut out for them tomorrow in Columbus and down the last stretch of the regular season.


Philadelphia earned a power play just 73 seconds into the game, but their struggles with the man advantage persisted as they only mustered one shot on goal.

The Flyers continued to control play early and didn’t make life easy on Luukkonen, though, but the Sabres goaltender was strong when he had to be.

Buffalo was able to use the momentum their goalie gave them and got on the board first courtesy of Tage Thompson on a beautiful connection between he, J.J. Peterka, and Alex Tuch.

It was just one of four shots on net the Sabres registered in the first period, but they led where it counted after twenty minutes despite the Flyers holding a 10-4 shots on goal advantage.


The Flyers held their breath for a moment as Joel Farabee left the ice injured and favoring his left hand as he went to the locker room.

Luckily, Farabee would return to the contest.

After continuing to pepper Luukkonen, Philadelphia finally broke through and tied the game thanks to a tremendous shot by Noah Cates.

Cates now has goals in back-to-back games after his fifth tally of the season. Owen Tippett also picked up his 50th point of the season on the play with the primary assist.

The Flyers and Sabres skated four-a-side after Travis Konecny and Jeff Skinner were given matching minors for cross-checking with about six minutes remaining in the period, which opened the ice up a bit.

After cooler heads prevailed, Buffalo would respond in short order as Norris Trophy candidate Rasmus Dahlin went high-blocker on Ivan Fedotov to restore the Sabres’ lead.

Farabee then left the game for repairs again after being high-sticked. He skated off bloodied after the missed penalty as the period wound down.

With just 5.1 seconds remaining, after a largely dominant period, the Flyers gave up a backbreaker as this time it was Jack Quinn who picked the same spot as Dahlin and beat Fedotov.

3-1 is how the second period would wrap up. Despite a 23-12 shot advantage and seemingly having the puck for most of the period, Philadelphia trailed and needed to dig deep to try and earn two crucial points in this game.


The Flyers continued to pressure Luukkonen and the Sabres, but the Buffalo netminder came to play, much as he has for the entire second half of the season.

Philadelphia finally caught a break almost halfway through the final frame and got back to within one as Owen Tippett wired a one-timer that may have glanced off a body in front and in.

The Sabres then came very close to restoring their two-goal lead, but Dylan Cozens couldn’t corral the loose puck after Fedotov had trouble covering it.

It didn’t matter, however, as Quinn nabbed his second goal of the game on a rebound as he busted through Travis Sanheim to get to the loose puck.

John Tortorella would pull his goalie with about four minutes remaining, but his team couldn’t find many quality scoring chances, much less score a goal, and found another way to lose a crucial game down the stretch.

For the Philadelphia Flyers, it’s soul searching time after a devastating 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

3 STARS OF THE GAME: 1) Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen – BUF, 2) Jack Quinn – BUF, 3) J.J. Peterka – BUF


The Flyers are right back at it on Saturday night (7:00pm ET, NBCSP) as they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

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Managing Editor at Flyers Nation. Proud lifelong supporter of the Philadelphia Flyers and all things hockey related. Steve Mason's #1 fan.

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