⏰ 7:30 p.m. ? NBCSN ? WGR550
Buffalo heads to Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for their second game in as many nights as they face-off against the Flyers for the final time this regular season.
This will be the first and only game Buffalo will play in Philadelphia this season. Both of the previous matchups in Buffalo were very different games. Buffalo winning the first game by a margin of three, holding the Flyers to just 21 shots and giving only two power plays. In Buffalo’s loss, they gave up four power plays and allowed 41 shots, giving up a 2-0 lead and allowing the Flyers all the opportunity they needed to take that game away.
Now six points out of a Wild Card spot with 20 games to go, Buffalo needs each and every win. Conference matchups are even more important, as Philadelphia is only one point behind Buffalo in the race.
Buffalo has played a tough schedule for the last three games, going 1-2 against top teams in the Conference (Tampa Bay, Washington, and Toronto). After a disappointing defensive effort that led to Carter Hutton being pulled, it is critical that Buffalo does not underestimate a team behind them in the standings.
Brandon Montour will make his debut with the Buffalo Sabres tonight wearing his newly chosen No. 62.
“I am looking forward to finishing up here, and hopefully go for a little run in the playoffs.” – Montour
“He’s a really good skater. Obviously, he’s really good with the puck … he’s a guy who plays fast, who can skate with it. He makes a lot of plays so it’s a big addition for our team.” – Jack Eichel on Montour
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) February 25, 2019
Philadelphia is coming off a strong comeback win in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL Stadium Series outdoor game, keeping the Flyers hot on Buffalo’s tail in the Wild Card race. Philadelphia will be without their young star goaltender, Carter Hart, who is out with an ankle injury and is not expected to play the remainder of the season. Brian Elliot will start in his place, backed up by Cam Talbot.
The Flyers also parted ways with eight-year veteran Wayne Simmonds in a trade deal with the Nashville Predators for Ryan Hartman, and a conditional pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Simmonds toughness and leadership will be hard to replace for the Flyers, but unrestricted free-agency may have meant the lost him with no return if they did not trade him.
“Ultimate warrior. Best teammate.” – Claude Giroux on Wayne Simmonds
Hartman will join the lineup wearing number 38. Philadelphia will also get Radko Gudas back after a two-game suspension for his high stick on Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning.