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Flyers go for season sweep of Sabres

by Davis Harper

SABRES (21-47-9) at FLYERS (39-29-9)


Last 10: Buffalo 2-7-1; Philadelphia 4-4-2

Season series: The Philadelphia Flyers will go for the three-game sweep of the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday. Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier scored the winner with 14.8 seconds left in regulation on Jan. 14 at First Niagara Center.

Big story: The Flyers will look to get back on track Sunday against the NHL-worst Sabres, and the favorable matchup couldn't come at a better time. Philadelphia is 0-2-2 over its past four games, including a 2-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

In the race for third place in the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers are two points ahead of the Blue Jackets. Sunday will be the Flyers' second-to-last game in the regular season at Wells Fargo Center, where they are 23-14-2.

Team Scope:

Sabres: Buffalo is 1-5-1 over its past seven, the win coming in a shootout over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday. The Sabres lost two nail-biters this week away from home, the first a 2-1 decision to the Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues and the other a 3-2 defeat to the streaking Detroit Red Wings. All this has been done with a pair of rookie goaltenders and a makeshift, injury-riddled lineup.

Against the Red Wings on Friday, the Sabres mounted a late comeback on the strength of young players: defenseman Chad Ruhwedel, who recorded his first NHL assist, and forward Nicolas Deslauriers, who scored his first NHL goal.

"We competed," goaltender Matt Hackett said after the game. "We showed we can play with any team, first place or a great team like Detroit here. They're both tough buildings to play in and we’re going in the right direction, I think."

Flyers: Philadelphia had won six of eight prior to its recent skid, which continued Saturday afternoon in a 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins.

"I don't think we've been as sharp," forward Scott Hartnell said after the game. "Those games a few weeks ago seemed like every shift we were on, and the last couple it seems like we haven't paid the price, or haven't played within the system. … You can really tell we were going four lines all together in the system, and the last couple games have been not that way."

Philadelphia, which ranks in the top half of the League in goals per game and shots per game, failed to score in two straight (going 160:01 between goals) before scoring two quick ones late in the second period against Boston.

Who's hot: Sabres forward Tyler Ennis has two goals and an assist over his past three games. … Lecavalier has a goal for the Flyers in each game against the Sabres and has 40 points (21 goals, 19 assists) in 51 games against the Sabres.

Injury report: Sabres forwards Marcus Foligno (lower body), Drew Stafford (undisclosed), Zenon Konopka (back spasms) and Torrey Mitchell (undisclosed), and defensemen Henrik Tallinder (lower body) and Tyler Myers (upper body) are day-to-day. Goaltenders Michal Neuvirth (lower body) and Jhonas Enroth (leg) are day-to-day. Forward Kevin Porter (lower body) is on injured reserve, defenseman Alexander Sulzer (upper body) is out indefinitely and forward Chris Stewart (ankle) could return this season. … Flyers wing Steve Downie (upper body) is day-to-day.

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