Philadelphia Flyers (18-15-8: 44pts) vs. Buffalo Sabres (10-22-9: 29pts)
at Wells Fargo Center | Philadelphia, PA
TIME: 1:00 p.m. | TV: NBCSP | RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic
presented by The Rothman Institute at Jefferson Hospital
Season Series: 1-1-0
All-Time Record: 175gp (87-61-27)
PHI: 51-pts, Giroux (14g-37a)
BUF: 35-pts, Kane (16g-19a), Eichel (15g-20a)
1. TWO POINTS AWAY
The Flyers enter today's game two points behind the final wild card position in the Eastern Conference with Carolina, who is idle tonight... Depending on the outcome of today's other games, the Flyers could be in a tie points-wise for that final slot... They are one point back of the Penguins (home vs. Boston - 7:30) and tied with NY Islanders (home vs. NJ Devils - 1:00)... Today is also the second of games on back to back days for the Flyers, who after today, enter their bye week with five full days off of game action... The Flyers currently own a 3-2-2 record in the second games of back-to-backs, including points in the last three games in that scenario (2-0-1).
2. RUBBER MATCH
This is the third and final game in the season series against the Sabres and first Eastern Conference opponent the Flyers wrap up a season series against... The first two games were split with each team winning on home ice and the Sabres taking the last meeting, 4-2, on Dec. 22... Six of the nine goals in the series have been scored in the third period, while the Sabres have scored four of their five goals in the final frame... Jakub Voracek leads the Flyers with three points (all assists), while Ryan O'Reilly leads the Sabres with three points (2g-1a) and is a +5.
3. ROAD WEARY
While the Flyers wrap up their four-game homestand, the Sabres play the final of a seven-game road trip away from Buffalo (including the 2018 Winter Classic, which was technically considered a home game)... The Sabres have dropped five of their last six games, posting a 1-3-2 record, on the trip with Jack Eichel (2g-3a) and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (2g-3a) leading Buffalo with five points each in that stretch... They have also scored just two power-play goals (2-for-22) and allowed a goal on the penalty kill in five of the six games thus far (12-for-18).
4. FINDING THEIR OFFENSE
The Flyers come into today having produced five or more goals in three of their last five games, including back-to-back games where they have scored six goals in wins over Islanders and Blues... In that four-game stretch, the Flyers have had 11 different players record a goal and six players who have produced a point per-game pace led by Claude Giroux with eight points (1g-7a) and Sean Couturier with seven points (4g-3a)... The Flyers have also tallied six power-play goals in that stretch, going 6-for-19 (31.6%).
5. PLAYERS TO WATCH:
FLYERS (LW: #28 - Claude Giroux)
Giroux is coming off back-to-back multi-point games with five points (1g-4a) in his last two... He now ranks third in the NHL's scoring race with 51 points (14g-37a) in 41 games, which is also the best start to his NHL career through the first 41 games of his season... In his 41 games this year, Giroux has already matched his goal output of last season where he had 14 goals in 82 games and is seven points shy of matching his total points output of 58 points in 82 games.
SABRES (C: #15 - Jack Eichel)
The Sabres No. 2 overall pick in 2015 has five goals and six points in his career against the Flyers, including two goals in the last meeting, both of which were empty-net tallies... He is tied for the team lead in overall scoring with 35 points (15g-20a) in 41 games... Of his 35 points, 29 have come at even strength and 14 of his 15 goals have also been at even strength.