Briere answers all-star snub

    BUFFALO _ Danny Briere said his four-point night Tuesday wasn’t related to his all-star snub earlier in the day.
    For what it’s worth, he said it with a broad smile.
    “I don’t think it had too much to do with that,” Briere said after the Flyers rallied past Buffalo, 5-2. “It was just one of those nights where I was getting the bounces _ and my linemates, as well.”
    Briere, who tied a career-best with four points, and linemates Scott Hartnell (two goals, assist) and Ville Leino (game-winning goal) torched Buffalo as the Flyers overcame an early two-goal deficit.
    The line combined for four goals, four assists and a plus-5 rating. Oh, and Hartnell contributed a highly entertaining second-period fight against Paul Gaustad. Coach Peter Laviolette thought the fight, which I rated as a draw, woke up the Flyers.
    At the time, they trailed, 2-1.
    The Flyers outscored the Sabres, 3-0, in the final period, including Hartnell’s empty-net goal.
    “It was a weird game. We didn’t play too well in the first 40 minutes,” Briere said. “We told ourselves, ‘Let’s at least show up for the last 20 minutes and take it to them,’ which we did. We showed why we’re in first.”
    “We settled in in the third period,” Hartnell said. “We were on our game.”
     Sergei Bobrovsky, making just his fourth start in the last 13 games, raised his record to 16-6-3 with his first victory since Dec. 15.
    “It wasn’t difficult,” insisted Bobrovsky, referring to his inactivity in the last month. “I was just waiting for my opportunity to play so that when I do, I can perform well.”
     After a first period in which Bobrovsky allowed two goals (one a bad one) and was betrayed by a defense that couldn’t get out of its end, the 22-year-old rookie settled down. All told, he made 38 saves, which equaled a personal-best.
    “I was nervous in the beginning of the game, but I got calm as the game went on,” Bobrovsky said.

    Breakaways. After the game, the Flyers were hoping to fly out of snowy Buffalo into even snowier Boston, where they play on Thursday…..The Flyers have the NHL’s best road record (14-4-3)……Briere, Jeff Carter and James van Riemsdyk led the Flyers with five shots apiece….The Flyers won 60 percent of the face-offs…Hartnell’s three points was a season-high….Andrej Meszaros was plus-2 and now leads the NHL at plus-27….Leino is third in the NHL, at plus-22….Leino became the eighth Flyer to reach double figures in goals…..Hartnell had a Gordie Howe hat trick _ a goal, an assist and a fight. (And, for good measure, a fall.)

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