Don’t make Danny Briere angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry.
The pint-sized center had been bothered by personal venom spewed at him in Game 6 from Patrick Kaleta. The Sabres wing reportedly felt the need to taunt Briere about his recent divorce. Apparently, it stuck in Briere’s craw in Game 7.
When his trademark corner-pocket shot beat Ryan Miller to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead in the second period, you could almost hear Briere laughing from the press box. It was his sixth goal of these playoffs — and his 41st career playoff goal.
Miller was pulled early in the third period, after Ville Leino scored, and the Flyers sent the Sabres back to Buffalo with a 5-2 series-clinching win last night at the Wells Fargo Center — packed to the brim with orange-clad Flyers fans.
Even without Kaleta in Buffalo’s lineup — Lindy Ruff benched him for “counseling” — Briere played with a rare edge for the entire 60 minutes. Following his second-period goal, Briere drew a hooking call that put the Flyers right back on the power play. James van Riemsdyk quickly turned that into a 3-0 Flyers lead, and it was all Orange and Black after that. Even Daniel Carcillo lit the lamp.
Brian Boucher started in goal and proved he should be the goaltender for the rest of the postseason. The veteran stopped 20 straight shots, before allowing a third-period goal to leak in. He stopped 26-of-28 for the game, with rookie Sergei Bobrovsky looking on.
Many wanted a rematch of last year’s epic Bruins-Flyers series — yes, history was made in that one. Well, we still might get it.
The Bruins lost to the Canadiens 2-1 last night, setting up a Game 7 tonight in Boston. If Boston wins, the Flyers will host them in the next round. If not, they’ll get the winner of the Tampa Bay-Pittsburgh series.
Even though the Flyers have struggled with the Penguins, it might be the better matchup. The Flyers looked overmatched this season against the Lightning.