The Flyers have been an absolute rollercoaster of a team so far this season. We’ve seen their highs and lows all within the first 33 games this season. The inconsistency has been their Achilles’ Heel, especially against some of the tougher opponents. Nonetheless, they now find themselves on the outside looking in for the ultra-competitive final playoff spot.
Philadelphia will look to get back within one point for that coveted fourth playoff spot as they face off against the Sabres in the sixth of eight meetings this season. Coverage will begin at 6 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia, with puck drop slated for 7 pm. You can catch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia or NBCSN. In front of their home fans, the Flyers are -190 money line favorites with the over/under sitting at 5.5 goals.
As Flyers’ fans, we have felt the pain that is Philadelphia Flyers’ hockey recently. They have dropped seven total games in their last ten. They were able to get back on track in a matinee win over the New York Rangers Saturday afternoon and did look better.
Sam Morin scored his first career NHL goal as the game-winner propelling the Flyers to their only win in their last five games. Offensively, the Flyers have not missed much of a beat. Philadelphia looked much more sound defensively as well. With the ever-so-dreadful Buffalo Sabres as the opposition, the Flyers have to continue this trend. The next two games have to be confidence boosters.
Flyers’ fans may be upset that the team has been a dumpster fire. However, if they’re a dumpster fire, then the Sabres are an entire junkyard engulfed in flames. Buffalo has dropped 18 straight. You read that correctly- eighteen.
Buffalo has only scored an average of two goals per game this season. They’ve been shut out three times in their last eight games. On the flip side, Buffalo is allowing just under four goals per game during their losing streak as well. Recently, they have been scoring a bit more and lowered their goals against totals, but it hasn’t been much better.
Per Sam Carchidi, there will be no changes tonight. Brian Elliott will be in net, and either him or Alex Lyon will be between the pipes next game. Hart is getting work with the goalie coach and getting some time off.
Flyers have dominated since game one
Back on January 18, the Sabres did completely embarrass the Flyers in a 6-1 rout. However, Philadelphia has bounced back in that regard.
In three straight games against Buffalo, the Flyers conquered them 3-0. Most recently, Philadelphia beat Buffalo 5-4 in a shootout at the beginning of their elongated losing streak.
Players to Watch:
On the Flyers’ side of things, the player to watch is definitely Claude Giroux. The captain has shown great leadership as the Flyers have started to slip. Even though He may not have done much on the scoring end, but he has played physical every shift. For his career, G has also owned Buffalo. In 43 career games, he has 40 points (11 goals, 29 assists) against Buffalo. If the Flyers want a shot at getting back into the playoff spot, they’ll need their veterans to get rolling.
For Buffalo, Sam Reinhart is the player to watch. The 25-year-old forward always makes his presence known when playing Philadelphia. For his career, he has 10 points (6 goals, 4 assists) in 19 games. On the season, he has accumulated 21 points in 31 games as well. Recently, he has had to carry the load with Jack Eichel still out for the foreseeable future.
In typical Flyers’ fashion, this game won’t be easy. Since the Sabres are streaking in the wrong direction, Philadelphia will definitely make this game closer than it has to be.
However, they will come out on top. Their veterans will see this as the must win game and take over. With the veteran presence strong, Philadelphia will take this game in the end. It may be closer than we all desire, and it may be down to the wire, but the Flyers’ core brings this one home for the orange and black.
Flyers win, 4-2.
Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre