After a possible season-turning game, the Philadelphia Flyers head to Buffalo, New York to play the Sabres, a historically bad team this season.
Here’s what to watch Monday night:
Success against league’s worse team
Monday night’s game is the first of a back-to-back set between the teams in Buffalo, and the sixth and seventh of eight games between the teams this season. The Flyers are 4-1-0 against the Sabres to date this season.
The Flyers got humiliated on home ice, 6-1, in the first meeting of the season. Brian Elliott then recorded a shut-out in a 3-0 victory two nights later. Two more Flyers shutout wins followed (Elliott in the first, Carter Hart in the second) in 3-0 finals in Buffalo on Feb. 27 and 28. On March 9 at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers had to rally back from deficits of 3-1 and 4-2 to force overtime and then prevail via shootout, 5-4.
So, it’s quite easy to beat an easy team, right?
A possible turn around win after a terrible month
March has been a disastrous month for the Flyers as they have a record of five-13 this month, but the club has a chance to close it out with a three-game winning streak if they take care of business Monday and Wednesday night in Buffalo.
On Saturday afternoon, the Flyers beat the New York Rangers 2-1, at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday afternoon. With 4:27 remaining in the third period, Samuel Morin blasted a shot that gave the Flyers the lead. After missing most of the last three seasons due to core muscle issues and then two separate right ACL tears, the moment was especially sweet.
The flaming hot Mika Zibanejad opened the scoring with a first-period power play goal. In the second period, Nolan Patrick tipped home a Shayne Gostisbehere point shot to knot the game at 1-1. Brian Elliott earned the win in goal. The Flyers went one-for-three on the power play. They were three-for-four on the penalty kill.
The Flyers had a complete off-day on Sunday. They had a morning skate in Buffalo Monday.
James van Riemsdyk – Sean Couturier – Joel Farabee
Claude Giroux – Kevin Hayes – Jake Voracek
Oskar Lindblom – Nolan Patrick – Travis Konecny
Michael Raffl – Scott Laughton – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Ivan Provorov – Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim – Phil Myers
Sam Morin – Shayne Gostisbehere
PP1: Giroux, Patrick, Farabee, Voracek, Provorov.
PP2: Hayes, Couturier, JVR, Konecny, Gostisbehere.
Scratches: Erik Gustafsson (healthy), Carter Hart (healthy).
Injured reserve: Robert Hägg (shoulder, two-four weeks from 3/17), Morgan Frost (shoulder surgery).
COVID-19 protocol: None.
Taylor Hall – Casey Mittelstadt – Sam Reinhart
Jeff Skinner – Dylan Cozens – Victor Olofsson
Riley Sheahan – Curtis Lazar – Jean-Sebastian Dea
Cody Eakin – Kyle Okposo – Steven Fogarty
Jacob Bryson – Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin – Henri Jokiharju
Brandon Montour – Colin Miller
PP1: Reinhart, Hall, Mittelstadt, Olofsson, Dahlin
PP2: Okposo, Cozens. Skinner, Miller, Ristolainen
Scratches: Matt Irwin (healthy), Tage Thompson (illness), Carter Hutton (lower-body).
Injured Reserve: Jack Eichel (upper body), Jake McCabe (right knee, out for season), Rasmus Asplund (upper body), William Borgen (fractured forearm, out six-to-eight weeks from Feb. 23), Tobias Rieder (undisclosed), Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring surgery, out for the season).
COVID-19 protocol: None.