The Flyers battled the Sabres once again in what has been a back and forth season with meetings between the two teams. On January 18th, the Sabres dominated the Flyers in a 6-1 win. The Flyers then came back swinging and took the wins for the next four meetings. Returning to their old ways, in their last meeting on March 31st, the Sabres were able to end their losing streak. At the last meeting, they dominated the Flyers 6-1.
What looked like it should have been an easy game for the Flyers, considering how many important players the Sabres are missing, turned out to be another embarrassing loss. The tables turned as what started out as a Flyers dominating game, quickly changed to the Sabres comeback show.
Flyers Start Off Hot
Both goalies were tested early on. Less than twenty seconds into the game, a shot by Casey Mittelstadt from a cross ice pass was denied by Hart. Linus Ullmark had his first save when Scott Laughton shot one off from the middle of the ice.
The orange and black take the first goal of the night. This was only the second time in 11 games where they have scored first. It was a messy goal for the Flyers as it looks like it was tipped in by the Sabres’ own goalie, Linus Ullmark. The goal ultimately went to Oskar Lindblom as the puck deflected off his skates and into the net. This makes Oskar’s first goal since March 22nd. Not the best goal, but I’ll take what I can get.
The second goal was from Joel Farabee, who has just been itching to score. He scored right at the end of the powerplay, making this his 15th goal of the season. The secondary assist went to Nolan Patrick, his first helper in 34 games.
It’s rare occurrence for the orange and black to head to intermission with a lead. However, they did to end the first. Both not beautiful snipes, but goals nonetheless.
The Flyers lead was short-lived, though. Sam Reinhart made it a 2-1 game less than five minutes in, making that his sixth goal against the Flyers. In less than a minute, the Flyers’ inability to handle the puck on the boards cost them another goal. Arttu Ruotsalainen went high to the glove side of Hart and was able to bury the puck. This gave him his first career NHL goal. Players scoring their first goal against the Flyers seem to be an ongoing trend this season.
The second period belongs to the Sabres. They were able to put themselves on the board and tie the game, all within a span of 46 seconds.
Heading into a battle for the third period, Shayne Gostisbhere came to the rescue. He snuck the puck through the five hole of Ullmark and put the Flyers back in the lead. Since coming off of the waivers, Shayne has been on his A-game. That makes 3 goals in the last 4 games for Ghost.
Not too long after, the Sabres go on the powerplay, as none other than Aube- Kubel, gets sent to the box. The Flyers were able to hold it together and remained 3 for 3 on the penalty kill.
A little extra tap from Dylan Cozens on a shot towards Hart led to a messy scrum where everyone on the ice joined in, even Carter Hart. Sabres goalie Ullmark even hung back on the red line waiting for his invitation into the action. The battle led to a four-on-four with Hagg and Miller in the box for roughing. Both teams were able to come out with another clean penalty kill.
An icing from the Flyers led to a face off win for the Sabres, resulting in a goal from Jeff Skinner, tying the game. Skinner was able to beat Giroux to the net and banked the puck off of his skate. The play was reviewed for a potential kick in, but the goal stood, tying the game. Within 25 seconds, Asplund was able to put the Sabres up a goal with 2:25 left on the clock.
Hart pulled from the net at 1:45 to try and give the orange and black an extra man advantage, but Casey Mittelstadt was able to settle down a bouncing puck after a turnover from Couturier and score on the empty net from center ice.
Some key mistakes made by some of the veteran players in the last period, where there was no room for error, led to the big lead for the Sabres
Flyers Lose a Bad One
The Philadelphia Flyers let the game get away from them late, and suffered a devastating loss once again to the Buffalo Sabres, losing 5-3 in regulation. The Sabres have knocked out the Flyers for the third time this year, but they have won one game against the teams that are in the playoff spot for the east. The Sabres came into Philly and dominated the last two periods.
Once again a brutal loss for the Flyers considering their standing and the type of hockey the Sabres have played this season. It seems that the Flyers were trying their hardest and had a lot of scoring opportunities, but were unable to finish. Ullmark came away with 40 saves. The Sabres were able to finish and then some.
With 15 games left, can the Flyers pull off the playoff spot, or are their playoff chances just out of reach at this point?
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre