Preview: Buffalo still looking for first win
<strong>Sabres visit Flyers in first matchup of season</strong>
Buffalo Sabres (0-2-0) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (2-0-0)
Puck Drop: 7:30 PM EST | Wells Fargo Center | Philadelphia, PA
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Flyers Blog: Broad Street Hockey
Know Your Opponent
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)
Taylor Hall - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart
Victor Olofsson - Eric Staal - Dylan Cozens
Tobias Rieder - Cody Eakin - Tage Thompson
Jeff Skinner - Curtis Lazar - Riley Sheahan
Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen
Colin Miller - Henri Jokiharju
Rasmus Dahlin - Brandon Montour
Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton (unconfirmed)
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
Ivan Provorov - Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim - Phil Myers
Robert Hagg - Erik Gustafsson
Starting Goaltender: Carter Hart (unconfirmed)