Flyers v. Sabres: No Eichel, No Problem

USAT© Eric Hartline-USA TODAY SportsSI_13817373_168382939_lowres

Entering Thursday night’s game, the Flyers had scored six or more goals in four games this season. They had allowed one or fewer goals in seven games. Add one more to each of those columns, as they took it to the Sabres early and often, topping Buffalo 6-1.

Lead by James van Riemsdyk’s two goals and Travis Konecny’s three assists, the Flyers built off momentum established in their 4-1 victory over Anaheim Tuesday night. Mikhail Vorobyev, Matt Niskanen, Ivan Provorov, and Tyler Pitlick all found the back of the net as well in this tilt.

Special Teams are Special Again

Yes folks, the powerplay shined in this contest. It’s no secret that the man advantage hasn’t been much of an advantage at all this season. The Flyers entered the night converting on 17.86% of their powerplay opportunities.

Tonight, the Flyers converted on three of five powerplay opportunities. While entering the night at 17.86% efficiency, they come out at 19.66%, an almost 2% jump in powerplay efficiency.

While the powerplay thrived, the penalty kill continued its slide from where it previously stood. It’s not drastic, but they went one of two against Buffalo, which brings their penalty kill rating to 82.69%, a bit of a decrease from their 83.33% from before the game.

Regardless of the PK, the powerplay should be reason enough to be happy. If they can find their footing, and keep it, things could turn around in a big way for the Flyers.

Lamp Lighting is a Habit

James van Riemsdyk has been the center of a lot of frustration from the fans. Starting off the year, he went seven games without registering a point. Then, he exploded for six points in the next three games, followed by four points in his next 15 games. Charlie O’Connor from The Athletic says it best here:

van Riemsdyk added another goal after this tweet, bringing his total to 10 points in the last 11 games, and four goals in his last four games as well. Streakiness is the name of the game, and that’s ok. JvR finds his groove every so often, and when he does, he’s damn good.

JvR has nine points in his last 10 games, if you count the Buffalo game. His point total stands at 19 in 35 games. There’s still much more to be desired from the veteran winger, but it could be worse, right?

Skinner was held point-less tonight FYI…

Starter Hart Finding his Groove

Carter Hart no-doubt looked great against Buffalo. Given, he wasn’t really tested much throughout the contest, but he came up with the saves he needed to come up with.

Between his stellar performance against Anaheim Tuesday, and his performance against the Sabres, he’s stopped 56 of 58 shots for a .966 save percentage and is averaging 1 goal against per contest.

Last week saw Hart save 24 of 27 shots twice against Colorado and Minnesota, good for a .889 save percentage. Last week was also a rough week in general for the Flyers, but Hart seems to have picked himself up and dusted himself off. An Eichel-less Buffalo team was a great opportunity for Hart to really flash his brilliance, and he did just that.

Next up on the slate, the Flyers travel north of the border to take on the Ottawa Senators Saturday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 P.M. EST at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Mandatory Credit – © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports