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Sabres vs. Flyers / Breaking down Game Seven

The big picture: Hockey is over in Buffalo. The brilliant second-half surge and gritty playoff effort ended in South Philadelphia, with the Flyers' talent edge finally showing in Game Seven. Owner Terry Pegula can now begin implementing the ideas he has for improving the Sabres' organization.

Turning point: Danny Briere worked ex-teammate Paul Gaustad on a faceoff in the Buffalo zone, the draw going to defenseman Braydon Coburn. His shot found the net with just 18.5 seconds left in the first period, giving the Flyers a well-deserved 1-0 lead and a springboard to a blowout.

Player of the Game: The Sabres never found a way to slow Briere. The former co-captain scored six goals in the series, won faceoffs to set up Philly's first two goals and made former owners Tom Golisano and Larry Quinn look foolish for not wanting him.

Slowwwww start: The Sabres opened with their worst period of the season, repeatedly handing the Flyers the puck as the home team rolled to a 16-2 shot advantage and 1-0 lead. Buffalo looked calm entering the game, but it looked lost when it started.

Hello, hello, hello: Center Derek Roy, left wing Jochen Hecht and defenseman Andrej Sekera all returned to the lineup. It was Sekera's second game in the series and the playoff debut for Roy and Hecht, who started together on a line with Thomas Vanek.

News Three Stars: 1. Danny Briere, Phil.; 2. Claude Giroux, Phil.; 3. Braydon Coburn, Phil.

Counting the house: The 19,929 orange-clad fans ended the first round with a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, full-throated party. They get to do it again in the second round.

He said it: "It's probably the worst feeling ever. You want to win so bad. You hate these guys so much, and you just want to win. It sucks." -- Sabres left wing Tyler Ennis on losing Game Seven.

Next: Anaheim Ducks, Oct. 7 in Helsinki, Finland.

-- John Vogl

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