Philadelphia Flyers (15-12-7: 37pts) vs.Buffalo Sabres (8-19-7: 23pts)
at KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY
TIME: 7:00 p.m. | TV: NBCSP | RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic
presented by The Rothman Institute at Jefferson Hospital
Season Series: 1-0-0
All-Time Record: 174gp (87-60-27)
PHI: 42-PTS, Voracek (8g-34a)
BUF: 31-PTS, Kane (14g-17a)
1. SHOW ON THE ROAD
Tonight kicks off a four-game road trip of sorts split up by the holiday break... The Flyers play two sets of back-to-backs beginning tonight in Buffalo, then Columbus on Saturday... Following the break, they fly to Florida to take on the Panthers (Dec. 28) and Lightning (Dec. 29)... The Flyers own a 7-5-3 mark on the road for 17 points - as a team, they are tied for the fourth fewest allowed goals (42) through 15 road games... Wayne Simmonds has seven of his 11 goals on the road, while Michael Raffl has all five of his tallies this season on the road.
2. SABRE STRUGGLES
The Sabres have dropped three straight, five of their last six and 16 of their last 19 games overall, however they have earned points in the standings in five of their last seven games (2-2-3)... The Sabres also have just one win over a Metro Division opponent, Nov. 7 vs. Washington (3-1), going 1-8-2 in 11 contests this season... Buffalo also ranks last in the NHL for goals scored (72) and average goals per-game (2.12)... 80 percent of the Sabres goals come in the second (27) and third period (29) with only 15 goals scored in the opening frame.
3. PK vs. PP
The Sabres come in hot on the penalty kill, going 13-for-13 over a stretch in their last six games, include five straight perfect games - The Sabres have the second-best penalty kill on home ice, allowing just three goals to the opposition in 43 attempts (93.0%)... The Flyers come in hot on the power play as of late, recording a goal on the man advantage in six of their last eight games, including each of their last three games... In that three game stretch, four of their last seven goals overall have come on the power play.
4. ODDS & ENDS
Should he be in the lineup, Brian Elliott will appear in his 400th game in the NHL - he also will be making his 10th consecutive start and has a 12-1-2 record with a 1.79 & .938 save percentage against Buffalo... Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen ranks third among all NHL players in average time-on-ice at nearly 27 minutes per-game (26:49)... Shayne Gostisbehere (2g-2a) and Claude Giroux (5a) each have three-game point streaks... Combined, the teams have 17 first round draft picks playing in tonight's game, including 11 in the Top 10 with Buffalo having five players in the Top 5 (Eichel, Reinhart, Bogosian, Kane, Pouliot).
5. PLAYERS TO WATCH:
FLYERS (LW: #93 - Jakub Voracek)
Voracek is riding a four-game point streak and has points in seven of his last eight games with 12 points (1g-11a)... He also has seven points (7a) in his last three games on the road... Voracek has 14 multi-point games this season, which ranks third in the NHL and already eclipses his total of 13 from last season while also ties the mark from the season before that, but is eight games away from matching his career high of 22 set in 2014-15.
SABRES (LW: #9 - Evander Kane)
Kane leads the team in both goals (14) and overall points (31) while being tied for the lead in assists (17)... He also ranks fourth in the entire NHL in shots on goal (142)... Lately Kane has recorded points in six of the Sabres last eight games with eight points (2g-6a)... Against the Flyers, Kane was held scoreless in the first meeting and has just three points (2g-1a) in his last seven meetings, but averages nearly a point per-game in his career with 15 points (5g-10a) in 16 career meetings.