Tuch's hat trick leads Sabres to win over Flyers
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Alex Tuch had his second career hat trick, Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist, and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3 on Saturday night.
Jordan Greenway and Kyle Okposo also scored, and Casey Mittelstadt added three assists for Buffalo in its fourth win in five games. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 39 saves.
“Good team win all around,” Tuch said.
Morgan Frost scored twice for Philadelphia, and Travis Konecny also had a goal in his return to the lineup after a 16-game absence due to an upper-body injury. Felix Sandstrom had 23 saves.
The loss officially eliminated the Flyers from the playoffs. They entered with the seventh-fewest points in the NHL.
The Sabres turned the contest with four goals in under four minutes over the first and second periods.
“It was fun to watch,” Buffalo coach Don Granato said.
Okposo finished a 2-on-1 with a shot over Sandstrom’s glove side to tie the score at 1-all with 9.3 seconds left in the first period.
The Sabres then erupted for three goals in 2:21 early in the second.
Tuch got his first of the contest 1:25 into the period with a wrist shot from the slot over Sandstrom’s right shoulder after a drop pass from Mittelstadt to give Buffalo the lead. Greenway made it 3-1 when he scored on a rebound 75 seconds later. and Skinner capped the frantic scoring sequence by following his own miss to put the Sabres up 4-1 at 3:46.
“We got a little loose,” said Flyers assistant coach Brad Shaw, who directed the team. “That short window, in retrospect, we pretty much gave the game away.”
Tuch notched his second of the contest with 3:58 to play in the middle period with a wrister over Sandstrom’s blocker to make it 5-1.
Frost got his second of the night 22 seconds later as he beat two defenders before shooting past Luukkonen.
Konecny got his 28th to pull the Flyers within two at 5:11 of the third, but Tuch finished his hat trick with 3:27 remaining when he deked past Sandstrom from close range and got his 35th of the season.
“I probably should’ve buried one before that,” Tuch said. “That felt really good.”
Frost got Philadelphia on the board with 3:25 left in the first.
NOTES: Buffalo leading scorer Tage Thompson (upper body) missed his third consecutive game. ... The Flyers honored longtime television and radio announcer Steve Coates in a pregame ceremony. Coates is retiring after 43 years in the booth at the end of the season. Flyers players all wore No. 43 jerseys with “Coatsey” on the back during warmups. ... Philadelphia coach John Tortorella was not behind the bench for the second straight game. Tortorella wanted to evaluate his players from a different location while giving Shaw an opportunity to lead the team from the bench. ... Konecny leads the Flyers in goals (28) and points (55).
Sabres: At Florida on Tuesday night.
Flyers: Open a four-game road trip at Pittsburgh on Sunday night. ___
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