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FIVE THINGS: Flyers at Buffalo Sabres

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers (23-19-4--50pts)

  Buffalo Sabres (13-26-5--31pts)
TV: CSN RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic

The Flyers come into the game tonight having lost two straight games… The last time the Flyers lost three straight games in regulation came at the beginning of the season from Oct. 11-17 when they dropped four straight… The Flyers are 5-1-1 in their last seven games that they have lost in regulation when scoring just one goal… Buffalo has earned at least a point in 10 of their last 14 games, going 7-4-3 in that span, which includes going 2-0-1 in their last three games… The Sabres are 6-0-2 in their last eight home games.

This is the second of three meetings on the year against the Sabres and first and only meeting in Buffalo… The Flyers won the first meeting, 4-1 on Nov. 21… The Flyers are 6-2-2  over the last five seasons on the road against the Sabres, however lost both of their most recent contests last season… The home team has won the last six games played between these two teams, with all six games ending in regulation… The Flyers will be looking for their 80th win in franchise history over the Sabres, going 79-58-20-5 since the 1970-71 season, including 31-38-8-2 at Buffalo… Claude Giroux averages over a point-per-game in his career against Buffalo, recording 17 assists and 21 points in 19 games.

Nine of the Sabres 13 victories on the season have been one-goal games, eight of which have been decided by overtime or a shootout… Ryan Miller has earned 12 of the 13 victories on the season for the Sabres - he is 12-18-1  and has a 2.58 GAA and .928 save percentage on the year… The Sabres PK has killed off 19 of their last 20 power-plays over parts of the last seven games, while the Flyers PK has killed 26 of their last 27 times they have been shorthanded… The Flyers have allowed just 26 goals in the first period, which is tied for fifth-best in the NHL, but they have allowed double that amount in the second period, which is tied for 3rd in the NHL… The Sabres have scored a league-worst 12 goals in the first period at an average of .27 per-game, and have scored a league low, 1.61 goals per-game this season… The Sabres recently hired Tim Murray as their GM on Jan. 9, 56 days after reliving Darcy Regier as GM on Nov. 13 - Murray was serving as the assistant GM for the Ottawa Senators.

4. Player to watch FLYERS: Scott Hartnell (RW: 19)
Hartnell comes into tonight's games with four goals and 10 points in his last 11 games… Hartnell went scoreless on Sunday at Rangers, but has not gone two straight games without a point in his last 13 games, dating back to Dec. 11-15, when he went three straight without a point… He posted a goal in the first and only meeting of the year against the Sabres and overall, has had success against Buffalo in his career, posting 12 goals and 25 points in 30 regular season games.

5. Player to watch SABRES: Steve Ott  (C: 9)
The captain of the Sabres has five goals and 12 points on the year so far for Buffalo, but he leads all Sabres forwards in ice-time, averaging 19:42 per-game, and is second on the entire team in shorthanded TOI, averaging 2:25 per game… He has recorded a point in two of his last three games, both of them assists… Against the Flyers Ott is nearly a point-per-game player with five goals and nine points in 12 career games.

"The Division is so tight… If you lose one or two, you're in fourth [place] now. You have to win your games and that's all you should look at."
- Craig Berube
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