With just 15 games remaining on the Flyers schedule, the focus has already shifted. Between the dismissal of Chuck Fletcher as GM and President of Hockey Operations and starting to chart a course for a path back to contention via rebuild, the Flyers are going to be looking forward to early May, when the draft lottery takes place.
Entering Friday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, the Flyers have the fifth-worst points total in the NHL and with more challenging opponents still ahead on the schedule, a final push for the best lottery odds possible is in motion. The Sabres, meanwhile, need all the points they can get to stay in the playoff push, entering Friday trailing the final wildcard spot by six points.
Game time is 7 p.m.
After going on a bit of a scoring streak entering March, Owen Tippett has just one assist in the last five games. It’s not for a lack of chances, but Tippett remains stuck on 18 goals on the season as the final 15 games hit.
Tage Thompson has kept up his points production with five assists in the last six games, but has gone without a goal in that time. The leading scorer for Buffalo will look to be a catalyst as they try to remain in the playoff push.
Carter Hart gets the start for the Flyers. After missing Tuesday’s game with the flu, Hart returns to the crease following a 5-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday where he allowed four goals on 31 shots. Hart has just one win since Feb. 9 and has allowed three goals or more in all but two starts.
Craig Anderson is expected to start for Buffalo. Anderson is coming off a win against Toronto on Monday, making 25 saves on 28 shots. Anderson faced the Flyers on Jan. 9 and allowed four goals on 38 shots in a loss.
Flyers Scratches: Sean Couturier (injury), Travis Konecny (injury), Justin Braun (healthy), Kieffer Bellows (healthy)
Sabres Scratches: Mattias Samuelsson (injury), Vinnie Hinostroza (healthy), Kale Clague (healthy), Eric Comrie (healthy)