Flyers-Sabres: Game 17 Preview
The final reinforcements are on their way. The Flyers continue to get players back into the lineup after their long two weeks dealing with a COVID situation. It comes at a great time for the Flyers, as they hit the road for the next five games.
It starts over the weekend with a pair of games in Buffalo against the Sabres. Following a COVID situation of their own, the Sabres have lost five of their last seven games.
Game time is at 1 p.m.
|Philadelphia Flyers||GP||G||A||P||Buffalo Sabres||GP||G||A||P|
|James van Riemsdyk||16||9||13||22||Victor Olofsson||17||7||8||15|
|Kevin Hayes||16||7||9||16||Sam Reinhart||15||7||7||14|
|Joel Farabee||16||8||7||15||Jack Eichel||16||2||12||14|
|Claude Giroux||14||1||13||14||Taylor Hall||16||1||11||12|
|Jake Voracek||13||3||9||12||Eric Staal||16||3||5||8|
Claude Giroux returned to the lineup with a vengeance after being on the COVID list. His first game back on Wednesday, the Flyers captain played one of his best games of the season with a renewed energy and recorded three assists along the way. The Flyers will be looking for more of the same from the captain as a crucial stretch of games begins.
The Sabres have gone through their own share of struggles this month, but lately, Victor Olofsson has been their guy when it comes to scoring. Olofsson has two goals and two assists in the last five games and now leads the team with 15 points entering Saturday's game.
The Flyers turn to Brian Elliott again in goal for Saturday's game. Elliott did allow three goals to the Rangers on Wednesday, but made several excellent saves to keep the game in the Flyers favor. Elliott's record speaks for itself, as he is 4-1-0 in seven games this season.
Just like their previous trip to Philadelphia, the Sabres are dealing with goaltending injuries. Linus Ullmark left the previous game with injury and is expected to be out for the entire weekend. That means Carter Hutton will once again most likely be stepping in to start for the Sabres. Hutton's only win of the season came in a 6-1 decision against the Flyers early in the season. Hutton also was on the hook for a loss against the Flyers, leaving that game after two periods.
Flyers Scratches: Travis Konecny (COVID list), Morgan Frost (injury), Phil Myers (healthy)
Sabres Scratches: Jack Eichel (injury), Linus Ullmark (injury), William Borgen (injury), Tage Thompson (healthy), Rasmus Asplund (healthy)
- Flyers: The Flyers are expected to get back four players from the COVID list for their first game. Justin Braun was already off the list on Wednesday, but not able to play due to lack of practice time. It appears he will take Phil Myers place in the lineup for this game, but that is still up in the air. Jake Voracek, Scott Laughton and Oskar Lindblom also return and will all play on the same line, leaving the remaining three lines intact.
- Sabres: The Sabres may be without forward Jack Eichel, who did not practice on Friday with a lower-body injury. As mentioned, Ullmark is also out of the lineup. Jeff Skinner comes back into the lineup after missing three games as a healthy scratch, and defensively, the Sabres may get Rasmus Ristolainen back for the first time since the end of January after his own bout with COVID.
- Power Play: Flyers (16th), Sabres (1st)
- Penalty Kill: Flyers (30th), Sabres (21th)
- Recent History vs. Sabres
- Jan. 18, 2021 - Sabres 6, Flyers 1 (at PHI)
- Jan. 19, 2021 - Flyers 3, Sabres 0 (at PHI)
- Flyers Leaders vs. Sabres
- Claude Giroux - 40 GP, 10 G, 29 A, 39 P
- Jake Voracek - 33 GP, 5 G, 20 A, 25 P
- Kevin Hayes - 17 GP, 2 G, 10 A, 12 P
- Brian Elliott - 19 GP, 14-2-2, 1.78 GAA, .942 SV%
- Milestone Watch
- Claude Giroux will play in his 904th game as a Flyer, passing Bill Barber for 2nd all-time.
- Erik Gustafsson needs one assist to reach 100 in his career.
- Jake Voracek needs three assists to reach 500 in his career.
Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.3 ESPN
Game Preview Video
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.