The Flyers' 5-2 win in Buffalo Friday was one of their most impressive of the young season.
For one, they scored four goals (the fitfh was an empty-netter) against the league's hottest goalie, Ryan Miller, and defeated a Sabres team that was off to a 9-2-1 start.
For another, they cruised to the victory because of contributions from the players who compose the third and fourth lines.
Especially the fourth line.
Dan Carcillo (two goals, seven shots), Blair Betts (assist) and Ian Laperriere (two assists) _ the LCB Line, Part II _ were a combined plus-9.
In addition, the Flyers (8-4-1) had a 31-27 edge in draws against one of the league's premier faceoff teams.
Oh, and the Flyers were missing three key players who were injured (Danny Briere, Simon Gagne and Ryan Parent), and they had half their team recovering from the flu.
The Flyers have won three straight and are starting to resemble the team that, on paper, looked like a Stanley Cup contender before the season.
Another plus: The Flyers continued to get offensive production from their defensemen. Chris Pronger notched a goal and was plus-3. Defenseman Matt Carle was also plus-3 and is plus-14 for the season.
Rookie LW James van Riemsdyk chipped in with his third goal; he has 14 points in 11 games and is establishing himself as a strong rookie-of-the-year contender.
Since the franchise started in 1967, the Flyers have never had a rookie-of-the-year winner.
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Third-line winger Darroll Powe scored his fourth goal.....Carcillo had his first multi-goal game since April 4, 2008 against Anaheim. He was with Phoenix at the time, and had scored a hat trick in his previous game......Goalie Ray Emery (8-3-1) has quietly become one of the Flyers' most consistent players...Jeff Carter won 11 of 15 faceoffs/