clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Sabres Head to Philly for Round 2

Buffalo looks to complete weekend sweep of Philly in an Easter matinee matchup

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

Game 78

Buffalo Sabres (28-38-11) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (23-41-11)

Puck Drop: 5:00 PM EST | Wells Fargo Center | Philadelphia, PA

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Hurricanes Blog: Broad Street Hockey

Know Your Opponent

Philadelphia Flyers

Record: (23-41-11) | 57 PTS

Division Ranking: 8th in Metropolitan Division

Last Game: 4-3 loss vs. Sabres

PP: 12.4% (32nd)

PK: 75.8% (23rd)

What To Watch

1. Quicker Start

While Buffalo was able to hold off Philadelphia on the way to a 4-3 win on Saturday night, the 2-0 deficit they found themselves in after the first period was not ideal. Despite outshooting the Flyers in the first, the Sabres let in two sloppy goals less than four minutes into the game, which against a good team like the Blues (evident from Thursday night), would make it very challenging to come back. Luckily though, the Flyers aren’t that team. If Buffalo can do a better job controlling the pace from the start and limit the amount of mistakes in their own end, they should be able to find success against a reeling Philly team.

2. Broad Street Bullies

While the Sabres and Flyers rivalry hasn’t been as intense as it used to be (given Buffalo’s lack of recent success and Philly underperforming most years), last nights game was chippy on multiple occasions. Mid-way through the first period, Flyers forward Travis Konecny took a run at Rasmus Dahlin, who was sent flying into the boards. Dahlin got up and slashed at Konecny, receiving a two minute penalty as a result. After that Dahlin and Konecny continued to jaw at each other for most of the game, at one point with Konecny even throwing a punch at Dahlin, which awarded a him a penalty of his own. That wasn’t the only dispute during the night, however. Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim and Sabres foward Alex Tuch both received coincidental penalties for roughing and slashing after a battle at the front of the net turned nasty. While Buffalo and Philly don’t have much to play for at this point in the season, both teams seem to play with an edge to them that can result in some scrappy hockey. Fortunately for us, we get to see these two teams play each other again tonight.

3. Depth Scoring

Something the Sabres have severely lacked during these rebuilding years has been depth scoring. And while they still aren’t quite where they want to be, contributions from other lines besides their top one has improved greatly this season. Kyle Okposo was someone Sabres fans had long written off, but he has turned around and made an inspiring comeback, as he potted his 20th of the season Saturday night against the Flyers. Vinnie Hinostroza also scored against Philly, tallying his 12th of the year and making a case for why he should remain on this team for the foreseeable future. Victor Olofsson has started to produce outside of just on the powerplay as well, as his vision on the ice during the back half of the season has been on full display. Given this roster’s transformation over the course of the season, it’s going to be very difficult to figure out who should be held off the starting lineup next fall.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Victor Olofsson

Peyton Krebs - Casey Mittelstadt - Alex Tuch

Rasmus Asplund - Dylan Cozens - Kyle Okposo

Zemgus Girgensons - Cody Eakin - Vinnie Hinostroza

Defense

Mattias Samuelsson - Rasmus Dahlin

Owen Power - Henri Jokiharju

Jacob Bryson - Casey Fitzgerald

Starting Goaltender: Dustin Tokarski (expected)

Philadelphia Flyers

Forwards

James van Riemsdyk - Kevin Hayes - Owen Tippett

Oskar Lindblom - Scott Laughton - Travis Konecny

Joel Farabee - Morgan Frost - Bobby Brink

Noah Cates - Nate Thompson - Zack MacEwen

Defense

Ivan Provorov - Egor Zamula

Travis Sanheim - Kevin Connauton

Keith Yandle - Ronnie Attard

Starting Goaltender: Felix Sandstrom (expected)