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Sabres win game 5 in overtime

The Buffalo Sabres beat the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime tonight 4-3 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Here are some of my thoughts on the game:

What does Tyler Ennis have that the three Calder Trophy finalists this year (Michael Grabner, Jeff Skinner and Logan Coture) don't have? Answer: A playoff game winning goal. Ennis was having a quiet series through the first four games, but he came through tonight with an overtime winner that fans will remember for years.

In my opinion the key to this series is goaltending. Buffalo came out in the first period with the plan to throw pucks at the net and that strategy paid off. Brian Boucher let in two bad ones on shots by Tyler Ennis and Thomas Vanek.

Boucher got pulled after a Marc-Andre Gragnani power play goal in favor of Michael Leighton, the third string net-minder coming into the series. Meanwhile, Ryan Miller wasn't in shutout form, but he was solid for Buffalo.

The Sabres have shown that they can match the physical play of Philadelphia, they have shown that they can play great defense and they have shown that Miller is an elite goalie. Now they just need to keep their heads in the game for 60 minutes straight and make sure to get lots of shots on net, no matter who is playing goalie for Philadelphia. If they do that, they will score goals and win the game.

After taking all the life out of the home crowd in the first period, Buffalo looked flat in the second period and Philadelphia dominated as a result. This has been a disturbing trend and Buffalo needs to play hard, and not take penalties in the second period of games.

In the end, they never gave in to the Philadelphia pressure and got the game winner when Leighton gave up a juicy rebound on a Mike Weber shot and Tyler Ennis ate it up for the game winner.

I liked the play of the Sabres' top forwards in this game. Ennis scored twice, Vanek scored, Boyes had a couple chances, Connolly has been great on defense.

I haven't heard a prognosis on Jason Pominville, but early reports said that he cut his leg or foot with his skate. If he got a deep gash on his leg he may not be able to play in game 6, but let's stay optimistic about that one. Buffalo really needs him in the lineup.

Gragnani continues to be a great asset to this team. Not only has he tallied four assists and a goal in five games, but he has been rock solid on defense. Steve Montador on the other hand hasn't done much to impress me. He got an assist on the overtime winner for his first point of the series, but other than that he has been only so-so.

Game six is 3:00 p.m. on Easter Sunday at HSBC arena in Buffalo. The big things to keep an eye out for leading up to that game:

Who will start in net for Philly? WIll Pominville play? What is the status of Jochen Hecht? What is the status of Chris Pronger?

If you liked this post, follow me on twitter @JDGenco for NHl commentary and much more.



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