Flyers looking for some good luck in St. Patrick’s Day matchup against Sabres
It’s been 12 days since the Philadelphia Flyers last won a game.
A 3-1 home victory over Detroit on March 5th has been followed up by a 4-game losing streak in which the 28th-place Flyers have scored just 6 goals in that span.
Tonight, the Flyers will look to end their recent woes but it will be a tough test, as the playoff-hopeful Buffalo Sabres enter Wells Fargo Center looking to gain more ground in the Wild Card race.
The Sabres are riding a 3-game point streak and are just 6 points behind the New York Islanders, who occupy the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with 78 points.
Buffalo has plenty of firepower up front with the likes of Dylan Cozens, Jeff Skinner, and Alex Tuch, and they’ve received plenty of help from the blueline from Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power, but the main star of this Sabres club is Tage Thompson.
Thompson has points in 3 of his last 4 games and has racked up 87 points (42g, 45a) in just 67 games. No Sabre has scored 87 points in a season since Flyers interim general manager Daniel Brière scored 95 in 2007, and his 42 goals haven’t been scored since Thomas Vanek racked up 43, also in 2007.
On the Orange and Black’s side of things, there hasn’t been much to play for lately. Philadelphia is well outside of the playoff picture and has struggled mightily to score goals.
Of course, there’s maybe some positives to take out of the last few days. Nick Seeler scored the goal of the season with some highlight-reel dekes in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to Vegas.
GOAL. OF. THE. YEAR. #VGKvsPHI | #FueledByPhilly pic.twitter.com/WafLY7YCnZ
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) March 15, 2023
On another positive note, Sean Couturier has resumed skating, and while head coach John Tortorella has downplayed the idea of the 2020 Selke Trophy winner playing this season, Couturier is anxious to get back on the ice and has looked sharp in practice as he nears the end of his recovery.
Sean Couturier in a regular orange jersey and helping Noah Cates with faceoffs. pic.twitter.com/fB9Ma1RqKJ
— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) March 17, 2023
So perhaps things aren’t all bad right now, and even with the losses piling up lately, the Flyers now find themselves in the thick of the race for Connor Bedard as other bottom-feeding teams have begun to surpass them in the standings.
Of course, the players want to win though, and maybe they’ll have a little luck on this St. Patrick’s Day to squeak out a win and play spoiler tonight against a hungry Buffalo club.
PHI Record: 24-32-11, 59 pts, 7th in Metropolitan
BUF Record: 33-28-6, 72 pts, 5th in Atlantic
Last Game PHI: 3/14/23, 5-3 L vs. Vegas
Last Game BUF: 3/15/23, 5-4 SOL at Washington
When: 7:00PM ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
PHI Goalie: Carter Hart (17-21-10, .906 SV%, 2.96 GAA, 1 SO)
BUF Goalie: Craig Anderson (10-9-2, .917 SV%, 2.79 GAA, 1 SO)
PHI Projected Lineup
#86 Joel Farabee – #48 Morgan Frost – #74 Owen Tippett
#21 Scott Laughton – #49 Noah Cates – #52 Tyson Foerster
#25 James van Riemsdyk – #13 Kevin Hayes – #22 Brendan Lemieux
#44 Nicolas Deslauriers – #58 Tanner Laczynski – #57 Wade Allison
#9 Ivan Provorov – #45 Cam York
#6 Travis Sanheim – #55 Rasmus Ristolainen
#24 Nick Seeler – #77 Tony DeAngelo
#79 Carter Hart
#32 Felix Sandström
BUF Projected Lineup
#53 Jeff Skinner – #72 Tage Thompson – #89 Alex Tuch
#71 Victor Olofsson – #24 Dylan Cozens – #22 Jack Quinn
#37 Casey Mittelstadt – #19 Peyton Krebs – #12 Jordan Greenway
#28 Zemgus Girgensons – #29 Vinnie Hinostroza – #21 Kyle Okposo
#26 Rasmus Dahlin – #78 Jacob Bryson
#25 Owen Power – #10 Henri Jokiharju
#61 Riley Stillman – #46 Ilya Lyubushkin
#41 Craig Anderson
#1 Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen
PHI Injuries: Sean Couturier (back), Travis Konecny (upper-body), Ryan Ellis (hip), Cam Atkinson (neck)
Scratches: Justin Braun, Kieffer Bellows
BUF Injuries: Eric Comrie (lower-body), Mattias Samuelsson (upper-body)
Scratches: Tyson Jost, Kale Clague, J.J. Peterka
News and Notes
– Carter Hart returns to the crease after missing Tuesday’s loss with the flu. Samuel Ersson has been returned to AHL Lehigh Valley as a result.
– Wade Allison will also return to the lineup after a 3-game absence. Allison had suffered an undisclosed injury during the Flyers’ 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay on March 7th.
– The Flyers defeated Buffalo earlier in the season on January 9th at KeyBank Center, 4-0. Samuel Ersson recorded his first NHL shutout that night.
– These two teams will meet again soon for the final time this year on April 1st, when the Flyers host the Sabres on Autism Awareness Night at Wells Fargo Center.
– Tonight is the 194th meeting between the Flyers and Sabres since Buffalo entered the league in 1970. Philadelphia owns a 98-68-20-7 advantage in the all-time series.
– Today marks exactly one year since Claude Giroux played his 1,000th and final game as a Philadelphia Flyer in an emotional 5-4 victory over Nashville. Time flies.
Make that 1,000 games played for Claude Giroux (@28CGiroux) with the @NHLFlyers. 🧡
(🎥 @BR_OpenIce) pic.twitter.com/23qStfVcsM
— NHL (@NHL) March 18, 2022
Broadcast Info: TV – NBC Sports Philadelphia, Radio – 93.3 WMMR
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