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Sabres Host the Flyers on Monday Night

Buffalo can beat visitors playing back-to-back games.

Philadelphia Flyers v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

Game 38

Buffalo Sabres (20-15-2) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (15-18-7)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST KeyBank Center

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Flyers Blog: Broad Street Hockey

Know Your Opponent

Philadelphia Flyers

Record: 15-18-7

Last Game: 6-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs

Division Ranking: 7th in the Metropolitan Division

PP: 29th (16.10%)

PK: 20th (75.41%)

What to Watch

1. Buffalo the Better Team Recently

The Sabres enjoy a long history playing against the Flyers. Since the beginning of Buffalo’s franchise, the Blue and Gold won 74 games, lost 97 and tied 20. For many years, the Broad Street Bullies dominated the rivalry, but the tables have turned in recent years.

Buffalo won the last win five matchups between these two teams, not losing to Phillly since 3/29/21. The Sabres are a much better hockey club in the NHL standings, sitting in the middle of the Atlantic Division while the Flyers struggle near the bottom of theirs. Buffalo can keep that winning streak going, facing a tired group that plays their second back-to-back game after losing to the Leafs in TO.

2. Healthier Hosts vs. Banged Up Visitors

After suffering through a rash of injuries earlier this season, the Sabres recovered and are now a mostly healthy team. Buffalo is missing defenseman Henri Jokiharju and goaltender Eric Comrie. The team has managed without Comrie, and while the defense could use Jokiharju, the rest of the d-men know how to step up.

By contrast, Philadelphia has four players on IR, including three forwards and a defenseman. Two of four injured athletes are out for the rest of the season, while center Ted Laczynski won’t play until Jan. 16 and center Sean Couturier shouldn’t see any ice time until late February.

The Sabres can take advantage of an injured Flyers roster while they’re healthy and their opponents are not.

3. Sabres Sure Bet to Win

The Buffalo Sabres are -1.5 spread favorites, according to Shane Mickle of PickDawgz.com. The Flyers’ offense isn’t good, only averaging 2.77 goals per game while their defense gives up 3.23 GPG.

Meanwhile, the Sabres score 4 GPG while allowing 3.43. Buffalo’s offense is the NHL’s best, making up for its D’s issues. The Blue and Gold are 8-1 in their last nine games overall and came off a big win against the Minnesota Wild.

Mickle believes this will be an easy victory for Buffalo and the hosts should score four or five goals. If you share his optimism, bet the Sabres on the puck line.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner – Tage Thompson – Alex Tuch

JJ Peterka – Dylan Cozens – Jack Quinn

Casey Mittelstadt – Tyson Jost – Victor Olofsson

Zemgus Girgensons – Peyton Krebs – Kyle Okposo

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin – Mattias Samuelsson

Owen Power – Kale Clague

Jacob Bryson – Ilya Lyubushkin

Goaltenders: Craig Anderson (likely), Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

Philadelphia Flyers

Forwards

James van Riemsdyk - Morgan Frost - Owen Tippett

Joel Farabee - Noah Cates - Travis Konecny

Kevin Hayes - Scott Laughton - Wade Allison

Nicolas Deslauriers - Patrick Brown - Zack MacEwen

Defense

Ivan Provorov - Cam York

Travis Sanheim - Tony DeAngelo

Nick Seeler - Rasmus Ristolainen

Goaltenders: Samuel Ersson (likely), Carter Hart, Felix Sandstrom