All good things must come to an end. The Philadelphia Flyers had their seven-game points streak snapped by the Buffalo Sabres, 6-3.
The Flyers are 2-1-0 versus the Sabres in 2022-2023. A new Philadelphia goaltender started versus Buffalo in each of those games. Felix Sandstrom represents the lone loss.
For those keeping an eye on the ‘Connor Bedard Sweepstakes,’ the Flyers still have the seventh overall pick, separated by four points from the Arizona Coyotes.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Buffalo Sabres
On the road against the Ottawa Senators, the Philadelphia Flyers had eleven shots on goal throughout three periods of hockey.
The first period paced differently; the Buffalo Sabres went almost eight minutes without a shot logged. Wade Allison got a puck in deep for Brendan Lemieux, and on the tenth shot of the contest, Morgan Frost scored; 1-0. Kyle Okposo tied the game, beating Sandstrom on a two-on-one rush assisted by Peyton Krebs, 1-1.
Philadelphia had a meltdown to begin the second period. Alex Tuch ripped a shot from a drop pass by Casey Mittelstadt; 2-1. A little over a minute later, Jordan Greenway jammed home a rebound; 3-1. Then, Jeff Skinner rammed a rebound past Sandstrom to extend the Sabres’ lead; 4-1. Buffalo went from being held without a shot on goal for eight minutes to scoring on three of their next eight.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made a great save on Wade Allison in the splits. Luukkonen could’ve been a second slower sweeping across the crease, and it would shift the momentum. Tuch rewarded Luukkonen for making the acrobat save with another goal, sniping bar-down on Sandstrom, 5-1. Tuch recorded his second of the game, but so did Frost, gathering the puck with speed and shooting past Luukkonen, 5-2.
Maybe the Flyers could creep back into this one? They did it against the Senators, right?
Travis Konecny scored in his first game back in the lineup. Off the faceoff draw, Konecny beat Luukkonen; 5-3. About a minute later, Owen Tippett nearly beat Luukkonen on a wrap-around attempt, but the puck stopped on the goal line. Noah Cates had a point-blank shot on the powerplay later in the third period, but Luukkonen denied it.
“Catesy just told me where to go and I just let it go, found a spot. I don’t think I’ve scored one like that [in] my whole career. Just kind of lucky it went in.”Travis Konecny; 4/1/2023
Tuch had multiple chances in the third period to secure a hat trick. Sandstrom saved a sequence of opportunities versus Tuch to prevent the hat trick, including on a breakaway, a rebound chance, and another strong drive at the net with a shot on goal. A defensive zone turnover by Joel Farabee caught up with Philadelphia, allowing Tuch to earn his hat trick with a shorthanded goal, 6-3. His second NHL hat trick iced this contest, snapping a seven-game points streak for the Flyers.
Second Period Slide (-)
Brad Shaw said it exactly as we saw it. The Philadelphia Flyers gave the game away in the first five minutes of the second period.
“They’re a team that can hurt you. They have a ton of skill, they’ve got a lot of prolific scorers. In that small window we, in retrospect, gave the game away.”Brad Shaw; 4/1/2023
Shaw stressed creating offense from disciplined play. The Flyers paced the game, but the scoring chances surrendered were all highly potent. The support in front of Sandstrom was very loose, and the Buffalo Sabres have an elite offense.
Lagging in the defensive zone while lacking puck control ate Philadelphia alive in the second and third periods.
Morgan Frost (+)
Add two more goals to the total for Frost. He’s the hottest forward the Philadelphia Flyers have iced since the start of 2023.
He isn’t making the easy play en route to goal-scoring. Frost is busy on the forecheck, pouncing on loose pucks to pepper opposing goaltenders lately. He was successful against the Ottawa Senators and did it twice versus the Buffalo Sabres.
“Frosty’s really starting to get a feel for how to have success at this level, and that’s a great sign for the future; for him and the organization.”Brad Shaw; 4/1/2023
Frost will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, signed to a prove-it deal back in July, which he’s met the challenge.
(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)