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FIVE THINGS: Flyers at Buffalo Sabres

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

A lthough they have dropped their last two games, the Flyers continue to pick up points, earning points in the standings in eight straight games by going 5-0-3 since Jan. 20… They  are looking for their first nine-game point streak since Mar. 8-26, 2011 (5-0-4)… The Flyers now remain seven points back of the final Wild Card spot owned by Boston at 63 points… Jakub Voracek ranks second in the NHL’s scoring race, three behind Chicago’s Patrick Kane with 60 points… Voracek leads all NHL players in assists (42) and is now two points shy of matching his career high of 62 points set last season… The Flyers loaned center Scott Laughton to their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms yesterday, which means Michael Raffl could return after missing the last seven games with pneumonia… Matt Read has points in three straight games, his longest streak of the season (1g-2a)… Zac Rinaldo will serve the final game of his eight-game suspension tonight .

T he Sabres have had a four-day break between game action and play the final game of their five-game homestand tonight, going 1-3-0 and losing their last two… They will also play their first game since being a part of a blockbuster trade earlier in the week which saw them acquire three players from the Winnipeg Jets: Zach Bogosian, goaltending prospect Jason Kasdorf and Evander Kane… Kane is out for the remainder of the season after surgery to repair his left shoulder, while Bogosian will make his Sabres debut tonight… The Sabres also swapped goaltenders in a trade with the Dallas Stars: they acquired 6’6” Anders Lindback from the Stars in exchange for Jhonas Enroth… Lindback will dress for the Sabres tonight, and should he start, has posted four consecutive victories over the Flyers posting a .928 save percentage and a 2.25 goals-against average .

T his is the second of three meetings against the Sabres and first of two meetings in span of five days when the Sabres visit Philly on Feb. 19… In the first meeting, the Flyers won 4-3 on Jan. 17 with 11 different Flyers recording a point in the game and Michael Del Zotto leading the team with two assists… The Flyers have won four straight games against Buffalo, going 4-0-0 and averaging 4.25 goals-per-game in that span… The Sabres have not won a game by more than one goal since Nov. 18 and have 14 of their 16 victories by one goal… The Flyers are 15-2-6 when scoring the first goal of the game while Buffalo has 13 of their 16 wins when they score the first goal (13-9-1)… Buffalo averages an NHL-worst 1.76 goals-per-game, while the Flyers average 2.67 GPG (19th) .

T he hottest Flyer during the team’s eight-game point streak, Simmonds has recorded at least a point in six of the eight games with five goals and nine points in that stretch… He also has a three-game point streak with three goals and five points… The streak has moved Simmonds up to third on the Flyers in points (37) through 55 games, and he continues to lead the team in goals (21), including power-play goals (12) which is also tied for third in the NHL… Against the Sabres, Simmonds went scoreless in the first meeting and has eight points (3g-5a) in 14 career games .

The 19-year-old defenseman is having a good rookie campaign for the Sabres, posting two goals and 10 assists for 12 points… In his last six games played, he has recorded six of his total 12 points, all of which have been assists… His 12 points are tied for third among all NHL rookie defensemen… His 10 assists leads the Sabres defense, while ranking fourth on the Sabres defense in average time-on-ice (19:12)… Zadorov was the Sabres’ first round pick (16th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft… He is scoreless in one career game against the Flyers.

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