BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Tage Thompson had a goal and two assists, Brandon Biro scored the first two goals of his NHL career, and the Sabres won 5-2 on the road Wednesday night in Philadelphia, their third victory in four games evening Buffalo’s record for the first time this season.
Owen Power’s first goal of the season broke a tie in the third period, Casey Mittelstadt added a goal and an assist, and Alex Tuch had two assists for the Sabres (5-5-0). Ukko-Pekka Luukkonnen made 38 saves, stopping all 30 shots he faced over the final two periods, including two from point-blank range in the third.
“We locked down defensively,” said Luukkonen, coming off his first NHL shutout, and now a winner in each of his three starts this season. “Even though they had a lot of shots, the defense was unreal in boxing out and blocking shots. It wasn’t pretty but a win is a win.”
Biro, skating in his second NHL game after getting called up from the minors on Tuesday, became the fourth Sabres player with two goals in the first two games of his career, following Maxim Afinogenov, Dave Andreychuk, and Ken Sutton.
Joel Farabee and Cam Atkinson scored for the Flyers, who have lost three in a row and five of their last six games. Carter Hart gave up two goals on five shots and left the game midway through the first period with a ‘mid-body’ injury following a collision in the goalmouth earlier in the period. Sam Errsson finished with seven saves the rest of the way.
Most of the game was played in front of Luukkonen, who stabilized the attack after surrendering the Flyers’ two goals in the first period.
Mittelstadt tied it at 3:38 for his third and Biro got his first to put the Sabres ahead 2-1 at the 10-minute mark. Hart left the game after that.
After a scoreless second period, Power put the Sabres ahead for good at 3:03 of the third with his first goal on a shot that beat Ersson on the glove side just inside the left post.
“Tage put it in a good spot and dropped it. I just walked in and shot it. It’s nice getting my first earlier than last year,” said Power, who scored his first of four goals in the 43rd game of last season.
After assisting on Power’s goal, Thompson took advantage of a Philadelphia turnover to beat Errsson for his fifth with 6 1/2 minutes remaining and Biro had an empty-netter with 3:08 left to seal the win.
The Sabres conclude their home-and-home series with the Flyers on Friday night at KeyBank Center, wearing their black and red “goat head” throwbacks.
Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.