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Sinking Flyers back home to face improving Sabres

by Dave Lozo

SABRES (9-13-3) at FLYERS (11-14-1)


Last 10: Buffalo 3-5-2; Philadelphia 5-5-0

Season series: This is the second of three meetings. The Buffalo Sabres won 5-2 on Jan. 20 at home.

Big story: The Philadelphia Flyers are reeling and looking more and more like a team that is going to miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They have 23 points, three fewer than the eighth-place New York Rangers, but the Flyers have played more games than almost everyone in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres are 3-2-2 under new coach Ron Rolston, but a long way from postseason contention.

Team Scope:

Sabres: Buffalo was up 2-0 with less than seven minutes remaining against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. But the Sabres allowed a pair of goals and lost in a shootout, turning what looked like two sure points into a consolation point.

It was a particularly tough loss for backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth, who exited the game with cramps after allowing the second goal and watched Ryan Miller fall in the shootout.

"We're disappointed we couldn't get the win for him," Rolston said of Enroth. "The guys were working. There was a lot of sacrifice out there. I like the way our team is competing right now."

Flyers: Players considered this week an important one, with road games against the Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins. The Flyers left those three games without a point following a 3-0 loss Saturday in Boston. The players had a closed-door meeting after the latest loss.

"After 1-0, we stopped competing," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "Up until that point, 10 minutes into the game, guys were playing hard. There wasn't a lot of room out there either way. They scored a goal and we never recovered. We never responded to it. We were looking for a response from last game and that wasn't the response we were looking for."

Who's hot: Sabres forward Cody Hodgson has two goals and two assists in his past four games. ... Flyers forward Jakub Voracek has nine goals and nine assists in his past 10 games.

Injury report: Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold (hand) has missed the past seven games and remains doubtful. Forward Patrick Kaleta will be serving the second of a five-game suspension for his hit on Rangers forward Brad Richards on March 3. ... The Flyers will not have forwards Tye McGinn (orbital) and Jody Shelley (hip).

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