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Sabres, Flyers Meet Again in Matinee

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Sabres need a better effort in Sunday’s matchup

Philadelphia Flyers v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Game 19

Buffalo Sabres (6-9-3) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (10-4-3)

Puck Drop: 3:00 PM | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Flyers Blog: Broad Street Hockey

Know Your Opponent

Philadelphia Flyers

Record: (10-4-3) | 23 PTS

Division Ranking: 4th in East Division

PP: 16th (19.7%)

PK: 28th (71.7%)

What to Watch

1. The Sabres Need Goaltending Help

Early on Saturday, it was revealed that the Sabres expect goaltender Linus Ullmark to miss at least a month of game action due to the injury he suffered earlier in the week. All signs point to Ullmark really missing more than a month, but either way, the Sabres are in goaltending trouble. Carter Hutton, who started Saturday’s 3-0 loss and will play again Sunday, simply won’t cut it as a long-term solution.

What other options are there? Jonas Johansson? Dustin Tokarski? Ukko-Pekka Lukkonen? There’s no easy answer here, and it’s nothing that will be solved before puck drop on Sunday, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on in the days ahead.

2. A Fuller Lineup

While captain Jack Eichel remains day-to-day and missed Saturday’s game, the Sabres roster as a whole is looking the fullest it has in a long time. Tobias Rieder is back; Jeff Skinner has finally come off the healthy scratch list, and Rasmus Ristolainen returned to the ice Saturday after his bout with COVID-19. Buffalo’s lineup has been anything but consistent over the course of this short season, and while you can’t necessarily blame that for how poorly they’ve played, it’s hard to put together a consistent effort without a *consistent roster.*

We’ll have to see if Eichel returns on Sunday afternoon or if he remains day-to-day.

3. Hitting the Road

Sunday’s matinee tilt rounds off a three-game homestead for the Sabres, who will then hit the road for five straight games. That will kick off a super-packed March for the Sabres, who are set to play 17 games in 31 days. It begins with Buffalo facing the Rangers on Tuesday before three straight against the New York Islanders. They’ll face the Flyers once more on March 9 before finally heading back to Buffalo.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Victor Olofsson - Curtis Lazar - Sam Reinhart

Taylor Hall - Eric Staal - Dylan Cozens

Tobias Rieder - Cody Eakin - Kyle Okposo

Jeff Skinner - Casey Mittelstadt - Riley Sheahan

Defense

Jacob Bryson - Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin - Colin Miller

Henri Jokiharju - Brandon Montour

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton

Philadelphia Flyers

Forwards

James van Riemsdyk - Sean Couturier - Joel Farabee

Claude Giroux - Kevin Hayes - Nolan Patrick

Oskar Lindblom - Scott Laughton - Jakub Voracek

Michael Raffl - Connor Bunnaman - Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Defense

Ivan Provorov - Shayne Gostisbehere

Travis Sanheim - Justin Braun

Robert Hagg - Erik Gustafsson

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hart​