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October 27 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Less than 24 hours after their coach gave them a tongue-lashing in the media, the Flyers responded Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
For one night, at least, they showed the intensity – and their trademark hell-bent forecheck – that had been missing in some games.
For one night, their power play came to life and they got production from more than one line.
For one night, they mostly resembled the team that clawed its way to the Stanley Cup Finals last season.
Flyers 6, Buffalo 3.
In one of their best all-around performances of the season, the Flyers committed a season-low four penalties and rebounded from a listless 2-1 defeat in Columbus the previous night.
“I think it’ll help everybody relax, and hopefully get some guys going offensively,” center Danny Briere said.
Briere, Nik Zherdev, Darroll Powe, Claude Giroux, Jeff Carter, and Andreas Nodl (empty-netter) scored for the Flyers, and goalie Sergei “Bob” Bobrovsky improved to 3-2.
The Flyers scored three power-play goals – as many as they had in their first eight games – in five attempts. They were 3 for 35 on the power play before Tuesday.
Buffalo trimmed a 5-1 lead to 5-3 on two third-period goals.
“We were a little frustrated in Columbus and we weren’t having fun,” Giroux said. “Tonight we were disciplined and playing hard – and having fun doing it.”
Philadelphia Daily News:
“Chris Pronger is not looking for sympathy. He just wants to feel like himself again.
Through his first seven games this season after having his right knee surgically repaired in the offseason, Pronger hasn’t been, well, Pronger.
While you would not be able to tell on the stat sheet – Pronger’s plus/minus is 3 – he doesn’t quite look like the stalwart who guided the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals last season. He acknowledged yesterday that his knee still isn’t at 100 percent.
“Did anyone say I was 100 percent?” Pronger asked. “I don’t think I’ve ever said I was 100 percent.”
Pronger, 36, missed the first two games of the season, nursing the injury, but was back for the Flyers’ home opener against Colorado.
Even though the situation is not ideal, Pronger is dealing with the injury as best he can. He was quick to acknowledge his game isn’t where he wants it to be at this point.
But it’s still early.
“I don’t know where it was supposed to be at this point,” Pronger said. “I think every day it’s getting a little bit better and a little bit stronger. I’m skating, trying to move around more and trying to do a little bit more.
“Some days, I need to take maintenance days. It feels better some days than others.”
October 27 Philadelphia Daily News:
“IT STARTED the same way Monday’s abysmal night in Columbus ended for the Flyers.
Then, Sean O’Donnell decided he had seen enough.
Only 21 seconds after Buffalo scored the game’s first goal, less than 9 minutes into the first period, O’Donnell dropped the gloves with Cody McCormick to spark his team. He did more than just enliven the 19,361 inside the Wells Fargo Center.
O’Donnell’s scrap roused the Flyers’ offense and power play out of a lifeless slump, and they went on to a 6-3 win over the Sabres.
“I think the game switched right around then,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said of O’Donnell’s fisticuffs. “We were a little sluggish in the first 5 minutes of the first period. For me, that seemed to be the turning point right there.
“It brought a little energy to the building, a little energy to the bench. From there, we were able to play good hockey.”
It was the first win of the season for the Flyers (4-4-1) in which the opponent had scored first.
O’Donnell’s fight is proof that sometimes there is a place for fighting in hockey. Not only can it act as a way for players to police themselves, but it can also be a built-in shot of adrenaline.
Last night’s was O’Donnell’s 108th fighting major of his NHL career.
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