Fresh off of another collapse last night, the Philadelphia Flyers will be hoping to return the favor against the Buffalo Sabres, who make the trip to Philly after crushing the orange and black on Saturday night. Here’s all you need to know.
It didn’t take long for Bobby Brink to make an impact, notching assist #2 in just his third game, and re-igniting a previously cooling Joel Farabee in the first period. Mike Yeo’s decision to put the two on a line with Morgan Frost looked good in the early goings, and then Owen Tippett found the net to give the Flyers a 2 goal lead. Predictably, that didn’t last long.
The Sabres are hardly a great team themselves, but were able to take advantage of a Flyers team lacking in competitive depth and dealing with injuries. The second period, as it has been all year, was a nightmare. Showcasing a power-play that actually: worked, Buffalo was quick to push momentum back in their favor and ultimately pushed on to a 4-3 win ahead of tonight’s clash.
Philly’s power-play still ranks dead last in the NHL and Brink pushing to the top line of the unit wasn’t enough to change that. Converting on 12% of these chances is just embarrassing and like it is every game, it’s probably going to be exploited again tonight.
The rematch will see Felix Sandström make start number three of his 2021-22 season. Carter Hart is still injured, giving Felix an opportunity to make his mark and see if he can leave a good impression ahead of what promises to be an unpredictable offseason. For the Flyers, he’s 0-1-1 so far this season, with a .924 save percentage. He’s 15-18-5 for Lehigh Valley, with a .901 save percentage.
Interestingly, former Phantoms Goalie, Dustin Tokarski will be across from a more current Phantoms goalie. Tokarski is 7-11-5 this year, with a 3.27 GAA and an identical .901 save percentage. It must be a Lehigh Valley besties thing?
It will be interesting to see if the Travis Konecny vs Rasmus Dahlin beef continues. TK’s frustration resulted in a couple of altercations, with both players being penalized. After a collapse on the road, we could see TK come out with an extra spark tonight. He recorded his first goal since the team’s last win (vs Columbus on April 7th).
On the Sabres side of things, look for Victor Olofsson to get back up to full speed. After missing time with a wrist injury, he’s put up 12 points in his last 11 games. He notched an assist last night against the Flyers and is poised to go one better this evening.
The Flyers rank near the bottom in most metrics. They’re 29th in goals per game and 26th in goals conceded. The Sabres oddly rank pretty similarly (24th and 27th), although you wouldn’t know it watching last night’s game.
Given the putrid offensive production from both teams, betting on the under seems like a smart play. However, when it rains, it pours in Philadelphia and it’s very easy for a game to get away from them. Instead, I’m going to be looking for value on one ‘hot’ player from each side as they provide more upside. Low-risk, high-reward.
Victor Olofsson to score first +1900
Under 6.5 goals -110
Bobby Brink to score anytime +275
Score prediction: Flyers 3-2 Sabres
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire