Coming off a stretch of five straight good efforts, including their first regulation win against Boston since last year’s round robin games, the Philadelphia Flyers look to start a winning streak against the last place Buffalo Sabres at the Wells Fargo Center Sunday afternoon.
They will need an extended streak to keep their fading playoff hopes alive, as they enter the contest four points back of the Bruins for the final playoff spot despite playing two more games than the B’s.
The last time these two met, the Flyers hit arguably their lowest point of the season, dropping a 6-1 decision to a Sabres team that had previously lost their last 18 games.
Record: 19-15-6 (44 points)
Despite all the rumors swirling around them, the Flyers have yet to make any trades of their own and today will be the last opportunity for GM Chuck Fletcher to evaluate his team and decide what he’ll do ahead of Monday’s trade deadline.
The Flyers’ moribund penalty kill showed signs of life on Saturday, going 4/4 against a Boston team that previously had a success rate against them that would make Ted Williams blush. They will face a Buffalo powerplay that was ranked first in the league at one point, but has slipped significantly since, sliding all the way down to twelfth. They are two of their last 13 however and are still operating at 22%, however, so they will be a good challenge for the Orange and Black.
Travis Konecny had a great game yesterday, scoring a goal, drawing a key penalty and then posting an assist on the ensuing powerplay. He’s had a great April overall, scoring three times and adding five assists for eight total points. He also has four goals and 11 points in 16 games against Buffalo and his +6 rating against the Sabres is tied for his best against any opponent, so he’ll be our player to watch this afternoon.
Tanner Laczynski and Wade Allison were called up from the Phantoms ahead of this game. With this being the Flyers fifth game in seven nights, could we see a few players getting a rest? If so, look for Laczynski and Allison to check in with fresh legs.
If not, the lineup should look identical to Saturday’s game, aside from Carter Hart in net.
van Riemsdyk – Couturier – Lindblom
Laughton – Hayes – Farabee
Konecny – Giroux – Voracek
Raffl – Patrick – Aube-Kubel
Provorov – Braun
Sanheim – Hagg
Morin – Gostisbehere
Record: 9-25-6 (24 points)
Since the last times these two teams faced off, Buffalo has played better (by their standards), winning two of their last five, but still decided to sell at the deadline, shipping off Brandon Montour to Florida and sending Eric Staal to Montreal.
On the injury front, they are expected to be without two forwards; Curtis Lazar and captain Jack Eichel, who will miss his 18th straight with a shoulder injury. Defenseman William Borgen and goalie Carter Hutton are also slated to miss the game due to injury. Taylor Hall, who is widely expected to be moved at the deadline, is once again projected to be scratched.
Skinner- Reinhart- Olofsson
Asplund- Mittelstadt- Thompson
Ruotsalainen- Cozens – Okposo
Rieder- Eakin- Sheahan
Bryson – Ristolainen
Dahlin – Jokiharju
Irwin – Miller
When, Where and How To Watch
Time: 2 PM EST
Location: Wells Fargo Center
TV Broadcast: NBCSP, NHL Network, MSG-B
Radio Broadcast: 97.5 The Fanatic
Livestream: Fubo TV
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