A three-day break from gameplay is in the books for the Flyers, and once again, they find themselves in the same position in the playoff picture. Barely.

The Flyers retained third place in the Metropolitan Division by virtue of tiebreakers. The New York Islanders, now on a three-game winning streak, are tied with the Flyers with 83 points in the standings and holding the second wildcard spot. The Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings remain tied with 82 points, just outside the playoff picture. The Pittsburgh Penguins have moved back to within two points of both the Flyers and Islanders for a playoff spot with 81 points.

And next in line is Friday's opponent for the Flyers. With their convincing 6-2 win over Washington earlier this week, the Buffalo Sabres are now just six points back of a playoff spot. While that may seem like a lot to overcome with just six games remaining on the schedule, a win in regulation on Friday could move Buffalo back to within four points and potentially striking distance on the playoffs after all, only further adding to the crowd that just keeps growing.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia FlyersGPGAPBuffalo SabresGPGAP
Travis Konecny70313465Rasmus Dahlin75183856
Owen Tippett72272249Alex Tuch69203454
Joel Farabee76212849Tage Thompson65272552
Travis Sanheim75103242JJ Peterka76282149
Morgan Frost65132841Jeff Skinner68242145

Flyers Sabres Players to Watch

Morgan Frost's last game was certainly up and down. He helped the Flyers get a point with a game-tying goal with 9.6 seconds remaining in regulation. His turnover also helped the Islanders score the game-winning goal in overtime. Frost seems determined to make up for his mistake, so expect him to be motivated.

Tage Thompson has posted three multi-point games in the last five games. His last game against Washington was a three-point game with one goal and two assists. Against New Jersey on March 29, he had four goals. In two games against the Flyers this season, he's had very different results. On Nov. 1, he scored a goal and added two assists in a win. On Nov. 3, he was held off the board in a loss.

Flyers Sabres Goalie Matchup

Ivan Fedotov makes his first NHL start on Friday night. Fedotov made his NHL debut on Monday in relief, finishing the game with 19 saves on 21 shots in the overtime loss.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is expected to get the start for the Sabres. Luukkonen made 24 saves on 26 shots in a win over Washington on Tuesday in his last start. Luukkonen was in goal for both games against the Flyers earlier this season. He made 38 saves on 40 shots in a win on Nov. 1 and allowed five goals on 19 shots in a loss on Nov. 3

Projected Lineups

Flyers Lines

Flyers Scratches: Rasmus Ristolainen (injury), Sean Couturier (injury), Nick Deslauriers (healthy), Denis Gurianov (healthy), Egor Zamula (healthy), Ronnie Attard (healthy), Adam Ginning (healthy)

Sabres Lines

Sabres Scratches: Jordan Greenway (injury), Mattias Samuelsson (injury), Tyson Jost (healthy), Kale Clague (healthy)

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: Sean Couturier will miss both games this weekend. He is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury suffered in Monday's game.
  • Sabres: Jordan Greenway is day-to-day and will miss Friday's game.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (12.9% - 32nd), Sabres (16.4% - 27th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (83.7% - 4th), Sabres (79.3% - 17th)
  • Recent History vs. Sabres 
    • Nov. 3, 2023 - Flyers 5, Sabres 1 (at BUF)
    • Nov. 1, 2023 - Sabres 5, Flyers 2 (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Sabres 
    • Sean Couturier: 30 GP, 7 G, 17 A, 24 P
    • Cam Atkinson: 22 GP, 9 G, 9 A, 18 P
    • Travis Konecny: 24 GP, 7 G, 11 A, 18 P
    • Sam Ersson: 3 GP, 2-1-0, 1.06 GAA, .949 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Travis Konecny needs three points to reach 400 for his career.

Where to Watch

  • TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Radio: Flyers Broadcast Network

Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN. Follow him on social media @Kevin_Durso.

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