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Flyers at Sabres: Projected lines, game notes, and three things to watch

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Flyers Buffalo

Let’s do it again in Buffalo, shall we?

The Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres finish up their two-game set this afternoon. The Flyers shut out the Sabres 3-0 behind a dominant full-team effort. Sean Couturier, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Scott Laughton scored and Brian Elliott made 23 saves for the shutout.

Final Flyers Thoughts: Dominant performance earns shutout win in Buffalo

Laughton and his linemates Oskar Lindblom and Jakub Voracek were returning from the COVID list and they made their mark in the win. Justin Braun also returned from the COVID list and had a solid game on the second pair.

The Flyers (10-4-3, 7-4-2 on the road) have the best point percentage in the division – heading into Sunday’s games – with the Sabres (6-9-3, 2-6-2 at home) in the basement.

Projected lines and pairs

The Flyers lineup is almost fully healthy. They only have Travis Konecny on the COVID Protocol list and he could come off on Sunday.

Here are the projected lines and pairs for the Flyers against the Rangers:

James van RiemsdykSean CouturierJoel Farabee
Claude GirouxKevin HayesNolan Patrick
Oskar Lindblom – Scott Laughton – Jakub Voracek
Michael RafflConnor BunnamanNicolas Aube-Kubel

Ivan Provorov – Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis SanheimPhilippe Myers
Erik Gustafsson – Justin Braun

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

Braun replaced Philippe Myers in the lineup on Saturday, so it’s anyone’s guess as to how the defensive pairs will look. We’re going to project that Myers re-enters the lineup for Robert Hagg.


Game Notes

  • The Flyers are 3-1-0 against the Sabres so far this season. However, the lone loss was a 6-1 blowout with Carter Hart chased after allowing four goals.
  • The Flyers only have one player – Travis Konecny – still on the NHL COVID Protocol list. He could be removed on Sunday as that will be the two-week mark for him.
  • Buffalo is 2-5-1 in eight games since their two-week layoff at the beginning of February.
  • Jack Eichel was a late scratch for Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury and missed Saturday’s game as well.

Three Things To Watch

1. How does Hart look?

Carter Hart has been really up and down to begin the season. He had a rough first stretch, put it together for a bit, then had his worst game of the season – his career? – at Lake Tahoe.

Whether it was the team in front of him, the outdoor sightlines, or whathaveyou, Hart needs to bounce back against a team that has already beaten him. He has responded well to bad losses in the past with a 33-save performance following the 6-1 loss to Boston earlier this season. Hopefully for the Flyers, he’ll do the same on Sunday.

2. Forwards starting to click

The Flyers have most of their lineup back and it is showing. Their top three lines all had pretty good games on Saturday, with the top line and third line producing goals. The second line of Giroux, Hayes, and Patrick had a hell of a game on Wednesday and didn’t look out of sorts on Saturday.

Turning Point: Laughton, Lindblom, and Voracek return with a bang

The new third line is the one to watch. The Lindblom – Laughton – Voracek line returned with a bang on Saturday, providing the third goal to give the Flyers a 3-0 lead at the end of two periods.

3. Who comes out on defense?

We’re assuming that Philippe Myers is re-entering the lineup. It’s possible that he doesn’t given that the Flyers had a shutout win, but he’s one of the Flyers’ best six (or four or three) defensemen and needs to be in the lineup.

Ivan Provorov and Shayne Gostisbehere are safe, as is Travis Sanheim – who had a great game on Saturday. Justin Braun isn’t sitting unless it’s a conditioning thing, so that leaves the third pair. Either Robert Hagg or Erik Gustafsson will sit for Myers.

Gustafsson had that two-point game on Wednesday night, and Hagg had a few iffy moments on Saturday. Alain Vigneault will have a decision to make on who to bring out of the lineup.


The Flyers and Sabres are set for a 3:00 p.m. puck drop on Saturday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Heather Barry Images

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Ryan is a proud graduate of Monmouth University. He has covered the Philadelphia Flyers for the better part of a decade at various outlets, including Sons of Penn and Broad Street Hockey. Ryan has also worked for NHL.com and NBC Sports Regional Networks. Whether it's a GIF, quick stat, analysis, or long-form column, he's got you covered.

Copyright © 2020 National Hockey Now and Philadelphia Hockey Now. In no way affiliated with the Philadelphia Flyers or the National Hockey League.

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