The Philadelphia Flyers keep on flying, as they put an eight-game winning streak on the line at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night. The Flyers will be looking to make it nine straight wins with the Columbus Blue Jackets in town. Their latest win put them into a tie with the Washington Capitals atop the Metropolitan Division with a month left in the regular season.
Instead of having a letdown after beating the Capitals, the Flyers kept on rolling the next night on a back-to-back. They avoided a letdown and excelled behind a solid performance at home against the Carolina Hurricanes. Four Flyers found a goal and Carter Hart made 28 saves to earn a 4-1 win.
Along with an eight-game winning streak, the Flyers have won 13 of their last 16 contests. Following a four-game losing streak in January, they haven’t done much wrong on the ice, and that makes them incredibly dangerous right now. They’ve been consistent performers since about mid-January and continue to heat up in March.
It may not be the same road that the Blues took to a Stanley Cup last season, but the Flyers started to play well around the same time the Blues did in 2019. The Blues, of course, went from dead last to winning the Stanley Cup. Philadelphia weren’t in last in January, though they didn’t look like a team that’d be threatening to win the Metropolitan. Not with the Penguins and Capitals in the same division.
The door is wide open now, with the Flyers and Capitals sharing the lead and the Penguins behind by 3 points. Washington and Pittsburgh play Saturday afternoon, so that’s going to change by the time the puck is dropped at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sabres will be in Philadelphia seeking to end a five-game losing skid.
Stick a fork in the Sabres, it appears that they’re done. Buffalo heads into Saturday with 29-30-8 and 12 points back of a wildcard in the Eastern Conference. They may not be statistically removed from the picture yet, but their goose is just about cooked in Buffalo. It’s another disappointing year for the Sabres, and it must be a frustrating situation for Jack Eichel again.
He is by far the most productive player on the Sabres. Eichel leads the team with 77 points, while Sam Reinhart is second with 50 points. Eichel deserves to be going to the playoffs, though the same can’t be said for many others. Head below for our free Sabres vs. Flyers pick.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Philadelphia Flyers Betting Odds:
Sabres vs. Flyers Prediction:
There doesn’t appear to be a quick fix for the Sabres right now. Depth has been a major issue for the Sabres this season and it’s not going to change overnight. Jeff Skinner regressing has played a role in the Sabres playing like they’re stuck in neutral in 2019-20. He recorded 40 goals and 23 assists last season. This season he’s struggled with just 14 goals and 9 assists.
At one point in 2018-19, Skinner led the NHL in goals. That feels so long ago, but it was only a season ago. He fell hard since then and is having trouble regaining his footing. Ralph Krueger is expected to put Skinner back on the top line with Eichel in an attempt to get him going. The Sabres didn’t play the trade deadline like they thought they were done this season. They traded for Wayne Simmonds to bolster their chances, which seems all a bit perplexing.
For a contender, Simmonds would have made sense, but for the Sabres, adding Simmonds doesn’t address their issues. They went for the quick fix, though I don’t believe they’re in a position to be doing that at the moment. Simmonds is a nice luxury, but the Sabres can’t be spending money on luxury items as the team is in its current form.
The Sabres are hoping that Skinner and Eichel together again on the top line can fix their woes. They are going to likely need a really strong effort from the offence in this one. The Flyers have been scoring at a rapid pace lately, and will probably get it done in that regard against the Sabres as well.
Philadelphia has scored 4.5 goals per game in their last ten outings, which includes at least 4 goals scored in eight straight outings. The Sabres’ effort on the road in the defensive zone doesn’t suggest they’ll be able to handle them, as they’ve gotten torched for 3.42 goals against on the road. The OVER has been a hot bet between the Sabres and Flyers, with it hitting in four straight games and five of their last six meetings.
There was an average of 7.25 goals scored in total in those four games. The Flyers have touched the Sabres up for 17 goals in their last three meetings. They’ve notched at least 4 goals in four of their previous five outings against the Sabres. Expect the Flyers to stay hot offensively, though they look a bit too expensive for my liking. There appears to be better value on the OVER in this spot.