NHL 20 Simulation: Kyle Okposo plays spoiler in Flyers finale

Kyle Okposo, Buffalo Sabres (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Kyle Okposo, Buffalo Sabres (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

In the Flyers’ final game of the regular season, they were edged out late by the Buffalo Sabres.

It was an evenly matched game to start. Both the Flyers and Sabres spent time in the offensive zone. The Sabres had a tough time getting the puck on net, though.

Travis Sanheim put the Flyers on the board first. Winning the faceoff in the zone, Kevin Hayes sent it back to Sanheim. He turned towards the net and fired it past Hutton.

The Sabres began to buzz midway through the period. That was when Hart faced his first real chance. He gloved down a shot from Wayne Simmonds in the slot. Square to the shot, he didn’t give Simmonds much to shoot at.

Johan Larsson would even things up on the Sabres next shot. Hart had three players in front of him, all of which were Flyers. He never saw the shot coming. Larsson was able to find just enough space to get the shot off.

This is where the Sabres began to take things over. While they wouldn’t score the go-ahead goal, they had the better chances in the latter parts of the first.

Matt Niskanen was this close to giving the Flyers an early lead in the second. Hutton just got the skate on it. That’s when the Sabres took it down the ice and grabbed their second goal to take the lead.

Jack Eichel sent Sam Reinhart the pass around his own blue line. Reinhart took it upon himself to charge down the length of the ice. He went backhand, forehand which forced Hart into the butterfly. It opened up the right side of the net for the goal.

The Flyers didn’t let them enjoy the lead too long, however. Couturier sent the pass over to Jakub Voracek cutting into the slot. He didn’t have the puck for long, finding just enough space under Hutton’s blocker.

The Sabres grabbed the lead right back as Reinhart scored his second of the night. Sanheim blocked the original shot by Eichel. But the puck bounced right to Reinhart as he lifted it over Hart, who had already committed to Eichel’s shot.

Robert Hagg knotted things up once more. Receiving the pass at the point from Scott Laughton, Hagg skated in towards the slot. Hutton got a chunk of the shot with his stick but was unable to stop all of it.

The Flyers would get a late power-play chance as Brandon Montour was called for tripping. They weren’t able to get much of anything going as this game was tied going into the third.

It wasn’t a stellar second for either goaltender as four goals were scored in the period. Two were scored within 33 seconds of each other.

Things tightened up as the third period went on. Both goaltenders were sharper than they were in the second. But it was the Sabres who grabbed the lead back.

It was Simmonds who was left all alone in the middle of the ice. He blasted a shot through that beat Hart on the blocker side. Hart wasn’t able to come off the left post in time.

The Flyers had a chance to tie things up as they went to the power play with less than eight minutes to go. And they capitalized as Voracek scored his second. Couturier sent a no-look, backhand pass that caught everyone by surprise. Voracek had nothing but net to shoot at.

The Sabres would nearly grab a goal in the final minute, but Dominik Kahun’s shot went off the post. Kyle Okposo would make up for that, scoring with 40 seconds to go. Derek Grant sent the pass in front of his own net where Okposo was waiting. He turned and fired it past Hart.

The Flyers were forced to go to the empty net, but couldn’t grab a late equalizer. So their season would end with a loss, but playoffs are just around the corner.

Well, they would be if this wasn’t a simulation. But we can all dream, right?