October 4, 2023

What to watch as struggling Flyers face struggling Sabres


Photo by Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Flyers head into Tuesday night’s game with back-to-back losses against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. The Buffalo Sabres head into Tuesday night’s game with seven-straight losses.

So, this should be fun as the Flyers take on the Sabres Thursday night.

Here’s what to look out for in tonight’s game:

Success against the Sabres

The season series between the Sabres and the Flyers is half-way over with tonight being the fifth-of-eight meetings.

The Flyers own a 3-1-0 record in the previous four games, which includes three straight wins — all of them have been shutouts and all have been by the score of 3-0.

The Flyers last gave up a goal to Buffalo in the first meeting on Jan. 18 with 1:11 remaining in the third period. Their current shutout streak against the Sabres is currently at 181:11.

The Flyers have also won seven of their last eight meetings with Buffalo, outscoring them 30-12.

But as they say, it’s any giving day.

Since the back-to-back home shutout losses to the Flyers, wins have hard to get for the Sabres as they dropped to the New York Rangers 3-2 at Madison Square Garden last Tuesday, followed by three straight 5-2 road losses to the New York Islanders on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Buffalo’s leading scorer Jack Eichel (2g, 16a in 21 GP) has posted 13 points over the last 11 games (he missed two in that span) against the Flyers, including seven goals. Taylor Hall has 27 points (10g, 17a) in 24 career games. Veteran center Eric Staal has posted 12 points (4g, 8a) over his most recent 13 road games in Philadelphia, dating back to Feb. 2, 2013 per Sabres PR.

Not much has gone right for the Sabres this season. However, the Flyers would do well to stay out of the penalty box and avoid putting their struggling PK to work against the Sabres’ third-ranked power play (19-for-64, 29.7%).

The skid

Buffalo enters tonight on a seven-game loss streak, including six straight losses in regulation. They’ve been outscored 28 to 11 in that seven-game span.

In the six-game regulation losing skid, the Sabres have not scored on the power play, going zero-for-nine which began in their back-to-back losses to the Flyers.

On the other end, the Sabres have gone perfect on the penalty kill in that span, killing off all 12 times they were shorthanded.

Since the Flyers recorded consecutive 3-0 wins behind Brian Elliott and Carter Hart a week ago in Buffalo, the team has lost three of its last four games. On Sunday, the Flyers lost at home to the Capitals 4-3.

As a result, the Flyers dropped below the East Division playoff cutoff in terms of points. They remain in playoff position in points percentage.



James van Riemsdyk – Sean Couturier – Joel Farabee
Scott Laughton – Kevin Hayes – Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom – Claude Giroux – Jake Voracek
Connor Bunnaman – Nolan Patrick- Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Ivan Provorov – Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim – Phil Myers

Erik Gustafsson – Justin Braun

Carter Hart
[Brian Elliott]

PP1: Giroux, Couturier, JVR, Farabee, Gostisbehere.
PP2: Voracek, Hayes, Patrick, Konecny, Provorov.

Scratches: Robert Hägg (healthy), Michael Raffl (hand).

Injured reserve: Morgan Frost (shoulder surgery).

COVID-19 protocol: None.


Taylor Hall – Dylan Cozens – Sam Reinhart
Victor Olofsson – Eric Staal – Riley Sheahan
Tobias Rieder – Cody Eakin – Kyle Okposo
Jeff Skinner – Curtis Lazar – Riley Sheahan ​

Rasmus Dahlin – Rasmus Ristolainen
Henri Jokiharju – Colin Miller
Jacob Bryson – Brandon Montour ​

Carter Hutton
[Jonas Johansson]​

PP1: Reinhart, Sheahan, Hall, Olofsson, Dahlin.
PP2: Cozens, Staal, Skinner, Miller, Ristolainen.

Scratches: Jack Eichel (upper body), Casey Mittelstadt (healthy), Matt Irwin (healthy), Tage Thompson (healthy).

IR:Jake McCabe (right knee), Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring surgery).

COVID-19 protocol: None.

Tonight’s essentials

  • When: 7:00 P.M. E.S.T.
  • Where: Wells Fargo Center  
  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia 
  • Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
  • Social media coverage: Philly Sports Reports’ Twitter & Instagram

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: