The Philadelphia Flyers scored twice in the first two minutes of the game and never looked back on their way to a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. They got goals from five different players, scoring five goals on just 19 shots. Buffalo’s only goal was from Henri Jokiharju.
The teams were playing the second half of a back-to-back. The Sabres beat the Flyers 5-2 on Wednesday.
Two lineup changes for the Sabres tonight. The team recalled Lukas Rousek from Rochester and he replaced Tyson Jost on the Cozens line. Connor Clifton, back from his two-game suspension replaced Jacob Bryson.
Samuel Ersson vs. UPL started in nets. This was the fifth straight appearance for UPL.
Jordan Greenway– Tage Thompson – Brandon Biro
Jeff Skinner – Casey Mittelstadt – JJ Peterka
Lukas Rousek – Dylan Cozens – Alex Tuch
Zemgus Girgensons – Peyton Krebs – Kyle Okposo
Rasmus Dahlin – Mattias Samuelsson
Owen Power – Henri Jokiharju
Connor Clifton – Erik Johnson
Terrible first period for Buffalo
Awful start for the Sabres in this one. Just like last game, the Flyers scored on their first shot on net. Scott Laughton scored his first of the season at 1:03 on what looked like a screened shot from the circle to UPL’s right. Can’t blame the goalie on that one.
Before you knew it, the Flyers scored again just 28 seconds later. I first thought UPL kicked out a big rebound on the initial shot, but when I saw the replay it looked like Jokiharju deflected the puck over to Louie Belpedio, scored his first NHL goal at 1:31.
Travis Konecny made it 3-0 on a breakaway at 14:57. He picked off a pass JJ Peterka intended for Jokiharju. Konecny streaked in alone from his own blueline and beat UPL on the glove side for his 9th of the season.
The Sabres didn’t do much in the first period. The only good things were two penalty kills and Rasmus Dahlin hitting the goalpost.
Shots in the first period were 9-4 for the Flyers.
Better effort… no results
Between periods, the Sabres announced that Mattias Samuelsson would not return due to a lower-body injury. He only played 2:30 in the first. Hopefully this is just precautionary.
An early Flyer penalty gave the Sabres a powerplay chance. They created a couple of good opportunities but couldn’t put it past goalie Ersson.
The Sabres’ effort level was higher through the second period, especially when the Thompson line was on the ice.
Garnet Hathaway made it 4-0 for the Flyers at 14:35 when he banged home a cross-crease pass from Ryan Poeling. This was the result of the Flyers outworking he Sabres.
Shots in the second were 12-6 for Buffalo.
More of the same in the third
The Sabres got on the board on the first of the year for Henri Jokiharju at 2:24. He took a pass from Casey Mittelstadt in the high slot and beat Ersson on the glove side. Ersson looked like he wanted that one back.
Another awful turnover at the Flyers blueline cost the Sabres again. This time, Alex Tuch tried a toe-drag that the Flyers picked off. A few seconds later, Bobby Brink was skating in alone on UPL, putting the Flyers up 5-1 at 11:28. Owen Power burned again as the only Buffalo D back.
Shots in the third period were 6-4 for Buffalo and 22-19 for the game.
- On Wednesday, everything seemed to go right for the Sabres. Tonight, nothing did. The team was low-energy and the Flyers capitalized on almost every chance they had. Let’s turn the page on this one, not much positive to gain from it.
- It was a horrendous night for Owen Power. According to NHL.com, he was -5. I’m not sure that’s right. Dahlin was on the ice with Jokiharju for the 3rd Flyers goal, not Power. Nonetheless, horrendous night any way you slice it.
- The Sabres definitely struggle against teams who play a tight checking style, like the Flyers or Islanders. They’re going to have to figure out how to handle games where the middle of the ice is taken away.
- In the two games against Philly, the Sabres only put 37 shots on net! Tonight, they only had 6 shots in the third period when they were trying to come back in the game. That’s nowhere near enough. To me, the problem is that the Sabres often try for the perfect pass or fancy toe-drag. They need to simplify things like we saw the Devils last Friday.
- The powerplay continues to be a problem. Tonight, they switched things up a little bit by having Mittelstadt on the #1 unit instead of Cozens. I still think they need a net-front presence.
- Rousek playing over Jost was a bit surprising. I find Jost always puts in an honest effort. My guess is he’s back in the lineup against Toronto.
- Hopefully the injury to Mattias Samuelsson is not serious.
- I would expect to see Devon Levi in nets tomorrow night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. I don’t blame tonight’s loss on UPL at all, but the Leafs game is the second game in two nights and Levi is due to play.
Catch up on all the Sabres results and upcoming schedule here.