Flyers blow late lead, fall to Sabres

     For the Flyers, the news was mixed in Friday’s 3-2 overtime defeat in Buffalo.

     The good news: They tightened their defense considerably from Wednesday’s awful 7-4 loss to lowly Florida. 

     But they blew a late 2-1 lead against a Buffalo team they could face in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

    Goalie Michael Leighton played solidly in the nets - he was named the game’s No. 2 star - but turnovers by Jeff Carter and Matt Carle led to Adam Mair’s game-tying goal with 5:58 left in regulation.

   Tim Connolly scored on a rebound with 2:29 left in OT for the game-winner.

   “You’re up 2-1 with about five minutes to go, you need to win that game,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “It’s frustrating….Points are a hot commodity right now."

    Mike Richards had given the Flyers a 2-1 lead by scoring on a breakaway with 8:51 to play in regulation. 

    But the Flyers couldn’t protect the lead, and they finished 1-1-1 on the road trip, one that started with a 7-2 win over Tampa Bay.

* * * * *

   Ville Leino was moved to a line with Jeff Carter and Danny Briere, and that unit produced 12 of the Flyers’ 29 shots. They didn’t score, but they buzzed around goalie Ryan Miller the entire game. 

   Scott Hartnell was dropped to the third line, which included Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk. Hartnell was minus-2 in the game.

   Simon Gagne had a goal and led the Flyers with a plus-2 rating.

   Besides his goal, Richards had a game-high seven hits.

   Notes: Darroll Powe and Oskars Bartulis will be available to play Sunday against Toronto, GM Paul Holmgren said.....The Flyers had won four straight in Buffalo since 2007.