April 5, 2012; Philadelphia, PA USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Matt Read (24) moves in on Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (30) on a breakawy during the third period at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Read scored the game-winning goal on the play. The Flyers defeated the Sabres, 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
There would be no miracle goal on this night. No valiant comeback from three goals down. No curb stomping an opponent into submission. Tonight, the end has appeared.
The Buffalo Sabres lost to the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in regulations. Ten minutes later, the Washington Capitals finished off the Florida Panthers 4-2 to clinch the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres valiant charge at the end of the season only yields them ninth place
Before the game started, it was announced that Alexander Sulzer was excused from the game for personal reasons and TJ Brennan would take is spot in the lineup. The first period of the game featured a total of twelve shots on goal, three coming from Buffalo. Ryan Miller would make a fantastic save on Matt Read on a shorthanded breakaway to keep the Flyers from scoring in the first period.
The Sabres got their only lead of the game in the second period as Ville Leino scored his first goal against his old team:
The Sabres would put together a much better second period than the first period as they had 13 shots on goal in the period and looked like a more refreshed team. That feeling would not last long as Philadelphia would tie the game at the six minute mark of the third period as Marc-Andre Bourdon would blast a shot from the right faceoff circle through traffic.
With 4:21 left in the game, Matt Read put the dagger in the Sabres playoff hopes with this breakaway:
The Sabres would make somewhat of a charge in the final four minutes but it wouldn't be enough to make up for the Matt Read goal. The Sabres would finish the game getting outshot in the third period 16-10 and 35-26 overall in the game. Ilya Bryzgalov made 25 saves for the win and Miller made 33 saves in the loss.
Buffalo will finish the season against the Boston Bruins on Saturday night before cleaning out their lockers on Monday.