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Preview: Buffalo still looking for first win

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Sabres visit Flyers in first matchup of season

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Game 3

Buffalo Sabres (0-2-0) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (2-0-0)

Puck Drop: 7:30 PM EST | Wells Fargo Center | Philadelphia, PA

TV: NBCSN

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Flyers Blog: Broad Street Hockey

Know Your Opponent

Philadelphia Flyers

2019-2020 Record: (41-21-7) | 89 PTS

2019-2020 Division Ranking: 2nd in Metropolitan Division

2019-2020 Conference Ranking: 4th in Eastern Conference

2021 Record: (2-0-0) | 4 PTS

2021 Division Ranking: 2nd in MassMutual East

PP: 1st (33.3%)

PK: T8th (75%)

What to Watch

1. Sabres, Your Power Play, Woof

While Friday night’s game was an improvement from their first one with plenty of shots generated and better goaltending, the result for Buffalo was the same: a loss with zero points accumulated. Though we are still very early in the shortened season, Buffalo’s power play has been nothing short of a disaster so far. They were 0 for 5 in Friday’s game and are 1 for 8 total this year. Buffalo will really need to clean this up if they plan on winning any time soon.

On the flip side, the Flyers have started the season strong with 11 total goals and are 1st in the league on the power play. If their offense is as aggressive as it has been, the Sabres are in trouble.

2. What Did Skinner do to Krueger?

If you watched the Sabres play on Friday night and saw Jeff Skinner’s effort, then you are probably scratching your head wondering how the $9 million forward is still on the fourth line. The star generated a few power plays and battled in front of and behind the net to create some noteworthy scoring chances. Since he is staying put (for now?), it will be interesting to see if Skinner can start to gel with his linemates - specifically Lazar, with whom he has shown some success before.

3. Top Philly Center Out With Injury

Ever wonder what a costochondral separation is? No? Me either, but the Flyers’ top center Sean Couturier is out with that injury for a few weeks, which is good news for Buffalo’s defense. However, the Sabres will need to keep their eyes on other elite forwards like veteran Claude Giroux and youngster Travis Konecny, sure to be stepping up in his absence. Philly is coming off of two huge wins against their rival Pittsburgh and Konecny had an impressive hat trick on Friday.

By the way, a costochondral separation is an injury in which the rib is torn away from the cartilage that is connected to the breastbone. #themoreyouknow

Projected Lineups (Based on practice)

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Taylor Hall - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Victor Olofsson - Eric Staal - Dylan Cozens

Tobias Rieder - Cody Eakin - Tage Thompson

Jeff Skinner - Curtis Lazar - Riley Sheahan

Defense

Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen

Colin Miller - Henri Jokiharju

Rasmus Dahlin - Brandon Montour

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton (unconfirmed)

Philadelphia Flyers

Forwards

Claude Giroux - Kevin Hayes - Joel Farabee

James van Riemsdyk - Nolan Patrick - Jakub Voracek

Oskar Lindblom - Morgan Frost - Travis Konecny

Michael Raffl - Scott Laughton - Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Defense

Ivan Provorov - Justin Braun

Travis Sanheim - Phil Myers

Robert Hagg - Erik Gustafsson

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hart (unconfirmed)