Asplund, Skinner lift Buffalo to comeback win over Flyers

·4 min read

PHILADELPHIA — Rasmus Asplund and Jeff Skinner scored 25 seconds apart late in the third period to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-3 comeback victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.

Arttu Ruotsalainen, Sam Reinhart and Casey Mittelstadt also scored for the Sabres, who improved their NHL-worst record to 10-25-6.

Buffalo appeared headed for another defeat before a late rally. Skinner tied the game at 3 with 3:03 remaining. Flyers goalie Carter Hart couldn’t corral Victor Olofsson’s shot from long range, and the puck went off Skinner’s skate and over the goal line as he crashed the net. The goal was upheld after an officials’ review.

Asplund scored the go-ahead goal just seconds later when he scored on a rebound with a backhand from close range.

Middlestadt’s empty-netter capped the scoring.

Linus Ullmark made 40 saves for Buffalo.

Oskar Lindblom, Shayne Gostisbehere and Joel Farabee scored for the Flyers, whose playoff chances took a hit. Philadelphia entered four points behind Boston for the final playoff spot in the East Division. The Flyers skated to a 3-2 home victory over the Bruins on Saturday.

Gostisbehere put Philadelphia ahead 3-2 at 3:47 of the third period. Farabee won a battle in the corner, found a wide-open Gostisbehere in the slot and the Flyers defenceman fired a wrist shot between Ullmark’s pads. It was the eighth goal of the season and third in four games for Gostisbehere, who wasn’t claimed by any NHL team when the Flyers placed him on waivers last month.

Hart made 26 saves and dropped to 8-11-5 to stretch his winless streak to seven straight. His most recent victory was March 18.

Lindblom and Farabee staked Philadelphia to a 2-0 lead after one period.

Lindblom opened the scoring with 8:24 left in the period when Gostisbehere’s pass went off Lindblom’s stick and into the pads of Ullmark. As Ullmark was trying to corral the puck, he accidentally knocked it into the goal with his left pad.

Farabee notched his team-best 15th goal 2 1/2 minutes later on the power play when he followed his own shot from close range and tapped it over the goal line behind a sprawling Ullmark.

Buffalo evened the game at 2 apiece with a pair of goals 46 seconds apart early in the second period.

Reinhart netted his 14th after a beautiful setup by Skinner, who won a faceoff and then passed across to a wide-open Reinhart for the easy goal.

Ruotsalainen, playing in his second NHL game, notched his first career goal on a one-timer from the circle that soared past Hart’s left shoulder.

Ullmark kept the game tied with a stellar stick save with 3 1/2 minutes left in the second on Sean Couturier's chance. Ivan Provorov’s shot bounced hard off the back boards to the other side of the goal, where Couturier looked to have an easy tap-in before Ullmark lunged and extended his goalie stick with his right hand to prevent the goal.

The Flyers finished their eight-game season series against the Sabres with a 5-3 advantage. The Sabres also beat Philadelphia 6-1 on March 31 in Buffalo. That Sabres victory ended their 18-game losing streak.

OUT OF ACTION

In advance of Monday’s trade deadline, Buffalo’s Taylor Hall sat for the third straight game. The 2018 Hart Trophy winner signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Sabres in the off-season but has struggled to just two goals in 37 games.

Philadelphia forward Michael Raffl also was a scratch, possibly in preparation for a trade. The veteran has eight points (three goals, five assists) in 34 games this season.

BACK IN ACTION

Buffalo centre Dylan Cozens returned to the lineup after missing the previous six with an upper body injury. He had an assist on Ruotsalainen’s tally.

UP NEXT

Sabres: At Boston on Tuesday.

Flyers: At Washington on Tuesday.

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Aaron Bracy, The Associated Press