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Lecavalier's late winner leads Flyers past Sabres

The SportsXchange

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Vincent Lecavalier picked the perfect time to end his scoring drought.

The Philadelphia center found the back of the net with 14.8 seconds remaining to lead the Flyers to a wild 4-3 comeback victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. It was Lecavalier's first goal since Nov. 27.

"It's good for the confidence any time you get out of the slump and hopefully that'll get me going," Lecavalier said.

Lecavalier's goal capped a frantic third period that featured four goals in the game's final 6:32. After a scramble beside the Buffalo net, Flyers right winger Matt Read dug out the puck and found Lecavalier on the left point, and he blasted a one-timer into the Sabres net.

"I took the shot and I thought that one was going to go in but Read got the rebound and looked for me again," Lecavalier said. "I just kinda wound up and it was kind of a lucky bounce. The puck was jumping a little bit but it went in."

Left winger Scott Hartnell, center Brayden Schenn and right winger Jakub Voracek also scored for Philadelphia (24-19-4). Goaltender Steve Mason made 16 saves in the win.

It was the seventh time since the start of December that the Flyers have come from behind in the third period to win.

"Our team doesn't quit," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "Over the weekend, Tampa and the Rangers, I thought we had really good third periods. They tried, it didn't happen. But the effort's always there."

Jhonas Enroth, the Sabres goalie, was once again one of Buffalo's best players but was unable to hold on for a victory. The goalie made several acrobatic saves, including a highlight-reel stop 11:53 into the first period when he robbed Flyers center Claude Giroux of a sure goal. Skating from right to left, Giroux fired a backhand shot on an open net but Enroth sprawled along the ice and used his blocker to knock the puck away.

"Obviously, he's had a tough go," Sabres right winger Matt D'Agostini said of Enroth. "He's been our best player when he's played. It just hasn't gotten the results. We haven't gotten them the goals. Tonight we got a couple goals but we just left him hanging there at the end."

Center Tyler Ennis, D'Agostini and center Cody Hodgson scored for the Sabres (13-27-5). Enroth made 30 saves.

"It's just one of those things, it just wasn't meant to be," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. "We didn't play well enough to win and we have to learn to play a certain way."

Hodgson put the Sabres on the board first with a beautiful finish 6:59 into the game. Sabres captain Steve Ott found Hodgson all alone in the slot, and he raced in alone and beat Mason with a strong forehand deke.

It was Hodgson's ninth goal of the season and his first since Nov. 24. Hodgson returned to the lineup Sunday after missing nine games due to a hand injury. D'Agostini, with an assist on Buffalo's first goal, recorded his 100th career point.

Voracek evened the score at 1 early in the second period on the power play. Voracek smashed a one-timer past Enroth from inside the right circle at 1:40 for his 13th goal of the season.

D'Agostini gave Buffalo a 2-1 lead on a perfect feed from Ott 6:27 into the final period. Following a drop pass from Hodgson, Ott found D'Agostini streaking toward the net. D'Agostini dove forward and tipped the puck between Mason's legs.

The game kicked into high gear when Schenn tied the game with 6:32 remaining. After a fortuitous bounce off the boards, the puck made its way through the Buffalo crease and found Schenn inside the right circle, who quickly spun and fired the puck into the net for his 12th goal of the season.

Hartnell briefly gave Philadelphia a 3-2 edge with a power-play strike with 4:17 remaining. With Buffalo's Zenon Konopka in the penalty box for goaltender interference, Hartnell flipped a one-timer over Enroth for his 11th goal of the season.

Ennis tied the game at 3 at 16:47 of the third period, just 54 seconds after the Flyers took a 3-2 lead with a wrist shot from inside the right circle.

NOTES: Flyers RW Matt Read returned after missing six games due to a concussion. Heading into the game, Read had 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 39 games. ... D Tyler Myers (suspension) and LW John Scott were scratched for the Sabres. It was the final game of Myers' three-game suspension for an illegal his to the head. ... RW Steve Downie, D Hal Gill and D Erik Gustafsson were scratched for the Flyers. ... This was the second of three meetings between the two teams this season. The Flyers won the first meeting 4-1 on Nov. 21.
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