PHILADELPHIA - In a series that went the distance, Brian Boucher did the same when it counted for the Flyers.
Backed by a burst of early goals, Boucher gets another round to prove he's the goalie who can lead the Flyers to their first Stanley Cup championship since 1975.
Boucher stopped 26 shots and Philadelphia advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres in Game 7 of their first-round series on Tuesday night.
The Flyers raced to a 4-0 lead and chased Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller in the third.
It was a switch from the rest of the series where the Flyers had trouble in the net. They started three goalies in seven games. Boucher won Games 2 and 6 in relief, but was stout for all 60 minutes in the series clincher.
The defending conference champions must wait to learn their next opponent.
Braydon Coburn, Danny Briere, James van Riemsdyk, and Ville Leino all scored against Miller to suck the drama out of Game 7.
The Flyers surely won't complain about a rout.
"We had big-time players score big-time goals," Flyers captain Mike Richards said.
This was the Flyers team that spent a chunk of the season atop the East standings, not the one that stumbled down the stretch.
Coburn put the Flyers ahead with only 19 seconds left in the first period, and Briere and van Riemsdyk put the game away with goals in the second.
The Sabres never stood a chance in front of 19,966 screaming Flyers fans.
Or against Boucher.
Boucher may have solidified himself as the No. 1 goalie for as long as Philadelphia's postseason run lasts. Sergei Bobrovsky started Games 1 and 2; Boucher got Games 3-5 and 7; and Michael Leighton Game 6. Boucher won two games in relief, including Sunday's win-or-go-home Game 6 in Buffalo.
This time, it was Miller who was yanked.
Miller, who won two 1-0 games this series, got the hook after Leino's slapper early in the third made it 4-0. The crowd went wild when Miller skated off the ice. Leino applauded hockey-style, tapping his glove against his stick in appreciation.
From there, it was just a matter of watching the minutes tick off.
Boucher's bid at the Flyers' first shutout of the season ended when Tyler Myers made it 4-1 in the third.
The Flyers rallied from a 3-2 series deficit a year after they won four straight to overcome a 3-0 hole against Boston in the East semifinals.
There was no need for a comeback in this game.
The Flyers pounded Miller for 19 minutes in the first period — one near-miss even set off the goal light.
With time winding down, Briere won a clean faceoff and got the puck to Coburn. His liner from the point turned into a knuckleball after Sabres winger Michael Grier tipped it with his glove and the puck wobbled through Miller's legs.
Briere, a former Sabre, tapped Miller on the back of his head as he skated away.
"There's no animosity toward the team," Briere said.
The Flyers grabbed the 1-0 lead with 19 seconds left and reversed what had been a string of miserable starts. The Sabres outscored them 11-5 in the first period over the first six games.
Briere, one of the great clutch playoff performers in the NHL, made it 2-0 when he sneaked in behind Miller and pounded in his series-high sixth goal.
Van Riemsdyk made it 3-0 midway through the second and the Sabres were finished.
Dan Carcillo made it a 5-1 lead and Brad Boyes' late backhander trimmed it to 5-2.
Miller didn't sit on the bench after he was replaced, but did return for the series-ending handshake.
"They got the pucks in the net, they got the bounces, and we couldn't get anything going and couldn't cash in until the third," he said.
CSN: Brent Seabrook scored the winner in overtime and the Blackhawks defeated the Bruins in a 6-5 thriller to tie the Stanley Cup Final 2-2.
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