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FIVE THINGS: Flyers at Buffalo Sabres

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

T he Flyers face off against the only team in the Eastern Conference they have yet to play, and the Sabres are one of three teams in the NHL they haven’t faced yet (Calgary & St. Louis)… This is the first of three meetings, all of which take place in a 34-day span, and first of two meetings at Buffalo… Last season, the Flyers swept the series, going 3-0-0 against the Sabres outscoring them 13-6… The Flyers won their only meeting at Buffalo last year and over the last six seasons, own a 7-2-0 mark on the road against the Sabres… Claude Giroux averages over a point-per-game against the Sabres with 18 assists and 22 points in 21 games… Cody Hodgson led the Sabres with a pair of goals and assists for four points in three games against the Flyers last year .

T he Flyers come in looking to snap a two-game skid in which they have been held scoreless and end a stretch of 144:59 without a goal… The Flyers also look to end a six game winless streak on the road dating back to Dec. 27 at Nashville… This is the seventh game of a span where the club plays nine games in 15 days leading into the All-Star break… Buffalo comes in looking to snap a season-high nine-game losing skid in which they have been outscored 39-9… Twelve of the Sabres’ 14 victories have come in one-goal games, and 11 of the 14 victories have come when they score first… The Sabres are the lowest scoring team in the NHL, averaging 1.69 goals-per-game, and a total of 76 goals through 45 games thus far… They have also taken the fewest amount of shots on goal, while giving up the most shots on goal of any team in the NHL this year .

J akub Voracek continues to lead the NHL’s scoring race at 52 points and now holds a two-point lead on Pittsburgh’s Malkin & Crosby… Tyler Ennis leads the team in scoring with 24 points (9g-15a)… Sabres’ defenseman Josh Gorges ranks second in the NHL with 120 blocked shots despite missing nine games to injury this season… The Sabres have been without their captain, Brian Gionta, for 11 straight games with an upper-body injury… Mark Streit leads the Flyers in time-on-ice per game (22:23) and is the only Flyer with over 1,000 minutes played (1,007)… The Flyers own the NHL’s fifth best power-play at 22.2 percent, while the Sabres have the NHL’s worst penalty-kill at 67.6 percent… The two teams have played in nine playoff series, which is second most of any other Flyers opponent (Rangers: 11) - The Flyers own a 6-3 record in the nine series .

Read posted a good season series against Buffalo last year, recording three goals and five points in three games to go along with a +5 rating… Overall, he averages nearly a point-per-game with five goals and eight points in nine career games against the Sabres… Lately, Read has three assists in his last five games… He averages 17:35 of ice-time per game, with over two minutes on the penalty kill (2:08) which ranks second among Flyers forwards (Couturier: 2:36)… In his fourth year with the Flyers, the undrafted Read has the most shorthanded goals for the Flyers over the last four seasons (6).

Zemgus Girgenson led all players and will start in the NHL’s All-Star Game with over 1.5 million fan votes and over 300,000 more than the next closest player - Chicago’s Patrick Kane… Girgensons leads the Sabres in goals (11) and is third on the team in scoring (20), while leading all forwards in average ice-time per-game (18:59)… Two of his 11 goals have come shorthanded… He was the 14th overall pick of the Sabres in the 2012 Draft and is two points shy of his career-high of 22 points set last season in 70 games… Girgensons has only played in three games against the Flyers, going scoreless.

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