The Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers are scheduled to meet for the second game of a back-to-back at the Wells Fargo Center. It was a no-contest last night, as the Sabres were the more aggressive and hungry team and it showed. The Sabres were looking to avoid a 0-3-0 start and it was pretty clear they didn’t want that to happen. They were easy winners by a score of 6-1 in Philadelphia.
Leading into that matchup, the Flyers lost two in a row to open the season against the Washington Capitals, 6-4 and 2-1. The Capitals are a tough team, but I think Jack Eichel is at a point where he wants to beat the best in the league. They missed out on the playoffs yet again last season, and certainly doesn’t want his talent to go to waste in Buffalo. The Sabres added Taylor Hall to the mix in an attempt to get the Sabres to the next level. Hall was effective last night with 3 assists, while Eichel did the same with 3 assists.
Sam Reinhart and Curtis Lazar both found the back of the net twice to lead the game in scoring. Lazar struggled mightily to end the 2019-20 season. He recorded just 2 points through the final 20 games of the season. Lazar matched that in just one game against the Flyers last night. It’s absolutely necessary that Lazar produces for the Sabres for this team to have a shot. The addition of Hall simply isn’t enough, others must step up.
Carter Hutton was solid between the pipes last night, as he made 21 saves on 22 shots. The other Carter, Carter Hart, just didn’t have it and allowed 4 goals in 22 shots. Brain Elliott saw playing time as well, but he was unable to do too much better. Elliott allowed 2 goals on 15 shots in a game he thought he was going to have off. After Hart started last night, expect Elliott to get the call on Tuesday.
The goaltending situation for the Sabres tonight is not clear. Linus Ullmark missed the first game for a personal reason. No word on what the problem was, but Ullmark is going to be listed as questionable on Tuesday as well. The loss for the Flyers was only their first of the season. They started off with a bang against their rival, as the Flyers defeated the Penguins, 6-3 and 5-2 at home. Head below for our free Sabres vs. Flyers pick on January 19, 2021.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Philadelphia Flyers NHL Betting Odds:
Sabres vs. Flyers Prediction:
If Ullmark is unavailable on Tuesday night, the Sabres could go with Hutton on a back-to-back, or opt for Jonas Johansson. Johansson was recently recalled from the taxi squad to backup Hutton on Monday night. He appeared in five games a season ago and posted a GAA of 2.94 and .894 save percentage.
The reports out of training camp weren’t overly enthusiastic about Johansson, but he is open to improvement. Overall, the Sabres have conceded an average of 3 goals per game for 19th in the NHL through three games. It’s consistent with where the Sabres were last season. They conceded 3.12 goals per game for 22nd in the league.
The Flyers didn’t look too interested last night. Hutton made some timely saves, but the Flyers could have caused more issues for him if they put in a little more effort. We saw what the Flyers are capable of in their first two games against the Penguins. The Flyers looked terrific with 11 goals in total. Six different Flyers scored on the first night, while Travis Konecny recorded a hat-trick the following outing.
After sitting back last night, expect a much different Flyer squad this evening. They likely get more pucks towards the net and cause more havoc. Fortunately, they don’t have any time to sit back and dwell on the loss. Despite the loss, the Flyers are fourth in the NHL with 4 goals scored per game. The goaltending situation is going to be hot and cold for them this season, though.
Brian Elliott will most likely get the starting nod between the pipes. Elliott posted a 2.87 GAA and 0.899 save percentage in 2019-20. He looked shaky in his first work of this year, with a 3.77 GAA and 0.867 save percentage last night. Look for a much closer contest on Tuesday following a run away win for the Sabres. There should be some goals put up on the board regardless of who wins, though. I like the OVER to get there.