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Flyers Gameday: 2/28/21 @ BUF

February 28, 2021, 7:55 AM ET [254 Comments]
Bill Meltzer
Philadelphia Flyers Blogger •NHL.com • RSSArchiveCONTACT
GAME 18:  FLYERS @ SABRES

Alain Vigneault's Philadelphia Flyers (10-4-3) are in New York State to complete a weekend back-to-back weekend matinee set against Ralph Krueger's Buffalo Sabres (6-9-3). Game time is at 3 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

The Flyers are 10-1-1 against all Eastern Division teams except Boston (0-3-2). Philly is 2-1-0 against the Sabres to date. Brian Elliott has recorded shutouts in each of the last two games.

Flyers Outlook

Carter Hart will get the start in goal on Sunday. With the Flyers coming off an overall dominant performance in a 3-0 shutout win over the Sabres on Saturday, it remains to be seen if Phil Myers will immediately re-enter the lineup one game after being a healthy scratch. Travis Konecny is eligible to exit the NHL's COVID-19 protocol on Sunday.

On Saturday, a first-period goal by Sean Couturier (4th of the season) and a second period tallies by Shayne Gostisbehere (2nd) and Scott Laughton (5th) built a 3-0 lead. The Flyers did not allow Buffalo to dent the advantage in the third period. The Flyers outshot the Sabres in all three periods and held a decided territorial edge in general. When there was a turnover or other miscues, Elliott had the answer.

The Flyers enter play on Sunday tied for fourth-place in the East in terms of points (23, three points behind Washington) but first in points percentage (.676).

Sabres Outlook

The Sabres enter this game in last place in the East, both in points (15) and points percentage (.417). Star center Jack Eichel has missed each of the last two games with a suspected ankle injury. He is officially day-to-day.

Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen had a rough battle with COVID-19 but is now back in the lineup. After being a healthy scratch, Jeff SKinner returned to the Buffalo lineup on Saturday.

Projected lineups (Subject to change, will be updated)

FLYERS (Saturday's lines)

25 James van Riemsdyk - 14 Sean Couturier - 86 Joel Farabee
28 Claude Giroux - 13 Kevin Hayes -  19 Nolan Patrick
23 Oskar Lindblom - 21 Scott Laughton - 93 Jakub Voracek
12 Michael Raffl - 82 Connor Bunnaman  - 62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel

9 Ivan Provorov - 53 Shayne Gostisbehere 
6 Travis Sanheim - 61 Justin Braun
8 Robert Hägg - 5 Phil Myers

79 Carter Hart
[37 Brian Elliott]

PP1: JVR, Couturier, Hayes, Farabee, Provorov.
PP2: Giroux, Patrick, Voracek, Sanheim, Gostisbehere.

Scratches: 56 Erik Gustafsson (healthy)

Injured reserve: 48 Morgan Frost (shoulder surgery).

COVID-19 protocol: 11 Travis Konecny (eligible to exit protocol today)

SABRES

68 Victor Olofsson - 9 Jack Eichel - 23 Sam Reinhart
4 Taylor Hall - 12 Eric Staal - 24 Dylan Cozens
13 Tobias Rieder - 27 Curtis Lazar - 21 Kyle Okposo
53 Jeff Skinner - 20 Cody Eakin - 15 Riley Sheahan

26 Rasmus Dahlin - 33 Colin Miller
78 Jacob Bryson - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
10 Henri Jokiharju - 62 Brandon Montour

34 Jonas Johansson
[40 Carter Hutton]

PP1: Reinhart, Eichel, Hall, Olofsson, Dahlin
PP2: Mittelstadt, Staal, Okposo, Cozens, Miller

Scratches: 37 Casey Mittelstadt (healthy), 44 Matt Irwin (healthy), 72 Tage Thompson (healthy), 35 Linus Ullmark (lower-body).

IR: 19 Jake McCabe (right knee), 28 Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring surgery).

COVID-19 protocol: None

********

Phantoms Beat Pens in OT, 4-3

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms skated to a 4-3 road overtime victory on Monday against the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins. In regulation, the Phantoms led by scores of 2-0 and 3-2 only to see the Pens push back.

Ryan Fitzgerald (4th goal of the season) scored the game-winner at 3:18 of overtime, assisted by Isaac Ratcliffe. In regulation, Brennan Saulnier (1st) tallied first for the Phantoms, followed by Garrett Wilson (1st) in the middle frame and Pascal Laberge (2nd) in the third. Samuel Morin, remaining on defense, set up the Wilson goal while Tanner Laczynski and Wilson set up the Laberge goal with 6:53 remaining in regulation. David Kase got the primary helper on the Saulnier goal. Zane McIntyre earned the win with 32 saves on 35 shots.
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