BUFFALO, NY - (WKBW) The Buffalo Sabres are back in the playoffs. Thomas Vanek's goal 1:16 into overtime gave the Sabres a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Buffalo entered the contest only needing one point to clinch a playoff spot. Nathan Gerbe's spin-o-rama backhand goal in the third period proved to be the clinching tally as it tied the game at three. It was Gerbe's second goal of the night.
Scott Hartnell opened the scoring for the Flyers in the first period.
Gerbe and Jason Pominville scored in the second frame to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead. However, Philly responded with a burst. Kris Versteeg beat Jhonas Enroth for a shorthanded goal to tie the game. Danny Briere scored less than a minute later to put the Sabres in a 3-2 hole after two periods.
Ryan Miller relieved Enroth in goal to begin the third period before Gerbe and Vanek went to work. Vanek ended the night with a goal and two assists.
The Sabres now clinch at least seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They finish their regular season schedule on Saturday in Columbus.