Sabres Fall 5-2 to Flyers on Friday Night
Victor Olofsson had both of Buffalo’s goals in the loss.
Score: Sabres - 2 | Flyers - 5
Shots: BUF - 36 | PHI - 22
Buffalo Sabres Goals: Victor Olofsson (25, 26)
Philadelphia Flyers Goals: Owen Tippett (19, 20, 21), Joel Farabee (10), James van Riemsdyk (10)
Minus-1: Switching Up the Line-Up
The Sabres elected to make some changes in the lineup on Friday night, and the changes didn’t serve them well. While the Skinner-Thompson-Tuch line stayed together, everything else was a mixed bag. JJ Peterka came out of the lineup, with Victor Olofsson slotting in his place on the line with Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn.
Vinnie Hinostroza also came into the lineup, making Tyson Jost the odd man out on the bottom two lines. Kale Clague remained the odd man out on defense.
No Jost, no Peterka - two players who have been playing really well as of late. Instead, Olofsson - who’s made some rough plays lately - comes in. Yes, he scored, but the point still stands. And how about sliding Clague in for Bryson? Why not try that?
Minus-1: A Loss in Another Must-Win
Entering Friday, the Sabres had a 5.2 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to MoneyPuck.com. That includes a 1.4% chance of getting the top wildcard spot and a 3.7 percent chance of getting the second wildcard spot.
Unfortunately, another loss is only going to further dwindle the playoff hopes. (We’ll have to wait until Saturday morning when MoneyPuck updates its playoff odds again, but undoubtedly, with every loss the Sabres continue to suffer, it will become increasingly difficult.)
Friday was a quieter night in the NHL, with only one other game impacting the Sabres. The Capitals, who Buffalo failed to beat earlier this week, lost 5-2 to St. Louis.
Games to keep an eye on Saturday include Devils/Panthers, Maple Leafs/Senators and Penguins/Rangers. In late-night action, the Islanders also face the Sharks.
Plus 1: Olofsson’s Trade Value Rises
Many were unpleasantly surprised to see Victor Olofsson re-enter the lineup on Friday, with JJ Peterka coming out to make a spot for the struggling forward.
Well, if the intention of having Olofsson in the lineup was to help boost his trade value for the future, maybe it worked a little. Olofsson had two goals, both on the power play, including one with literally a second remaining in the game. He now has 26 goals on the season, tied with Dylan Cozens for fourth-most on the team.
From his office 🚨#LetsGoBuffalo | @NewWaveEnergyCo pic.twitter.com/9CYbbI1Pxd— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) March 18, 2023
Less than a month left in the regular season.
Tighten your seat belts, folks. It could be a bumpy ride.