Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Brayden Schenn scored twice and Steve Mason made 17 saves, as the Philadelphia Flyers snapped a four-game skid with a crucial 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.
Matt Read and Vincent Lecavalier registered a goal and an assist apiece, while Zac Rinaldo also lit the lamp for the Flyers, who moved within two points of the New York Rangers for the second spot in the Metropolitan Division.
The win also moved the Flyers two points clear of Columbus, which occupies the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 87 points.
"I thought we played a solid team game tonight, defense-first mentality and didn't give them a whole lot and the two points were key," Schenn said.
Cody Hodgson and Mike Weber each supplied a goal, while Nathan Lieuwen stopped 32 shots for the Sabres, who have lost three straight games and are assured of finishing last in the NHL.
"We still have four games left to play but we just got out battled, out competed," Hodgson admitted. "I think when you watch the game, you can see that. As a team and individuals we can all improve."
Read's rebound tally off a Mark Streit point shot 13:30 into the game gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead before the home team scored three times in the second to create some separation.
Rinaldo ripped a shot from just inside the left circle that sailed past Lieuwen's far-side shoulder 7:40 into the second, while Schenn re-directed a Streit blast into the back of the net with the Flyers on the power play at 14:20 to make it 3-0.
Lecavalier capped the second-period outburst with a right circle shot that found the far-side corner for a 4-0 lead at 17:58.
Early in the third, Rinaldo was assessed a match penalty at 4:29 after catching Chad Ruhwedel up high on an open-ice check.
"I shouldn't have done it. There was no need for it," Rinaldo said of his hit on Ruhwedel. "We were up 4-0. There was no need for that hit but it is what it is. It's a part of the game."
Hodgson tipped one home just under three minutes into the extended man- advantage to get Buffalo on the board, but Schenn restored Philly's four-goal lead when he raced into the right circle and rifled a shot high over Lieuwen's glove at 15:10.
Weber scored his first goal of the season at 17:48 to account for the final margin.
The only time Buffalo has finished at the bottom of the league standings was in 1986-87 when it was tied with New Jersey for the worst record with 64 points ... The Flyers swept the season series from the Sabres (3-0) ... Streit supplied three assists ... Mason was credited with an assist on Lecavalier's goal ... Buffalo finished 1-for-6 on the power play.