Game 78 Preview: Flyers face Sabres in must-win game


Scott Hartnell and the Flyers look to snap a string of four straight losses on Sunday night against the Sabres. (Photo Courtesy of

Four straight losses has sent the Flyers reeling. Luckily, there is a break from playoff teams in the schedule.

The Buffalo Sabres come to town on Sunday night as the final week of the regular season kicks off. The puck hits the ice at 7:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sabres sit at the bottom of the East standings with a meer 51 points. They have won just two of their last 10 games.

Buffalo is led Tyler Ennis with 21 goals and 20 assists. Cody Hodgson and Drew Stafford serve as role players in the scoring up front as well.

Christian Ehrhoff is the leading defenseman for the Sabres with six goals and 26 assists. His 32 points are fourth on the team.

The Flyers have scored just two goals since taking the Boston Bruins to overtime a week ago. Wayne Simmonds and Jay Rosehill scored on Saturday.

The top line has particularly been scuffling during the four-game losing streak. Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek and Scott Hartnell look to break the frustration and find the back of the net on Sunday.

Defensively, the Flyers remain with the same six players that have helped them stay afloat through this 12-game stretch. Headlined by Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn, the Flyers look to stop an offense that has managed just 148 goals in 77 games.

In goal, the Flyers will go to Steve Mason. Mason is 31-18-7 with a 2.53 GAA and .916 save percentage. The Sabres will start Nathan Lieuwen. Playing in just his seventh game of the season, Lieuwen is 1-3-0 with a 2.57 GAA and .916 save percentage.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (10th, T-26th at home), Sabres (28th, 28th on road)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (6th, T-8th at home), Sabres (20th, 19th on road)
  • The Flyers have faced the Buffalo Sabres twice this season, winning both games. The Flyers won at home on Nov. 21, 4-1, and on the road on Jan. 14, 4-3.  
  • Milestone Watch: Luke Schenn needs three points for 100 in his career.

Flyers scratches: Erik Gustafsson, Hal Gill, Jay Rosehill, Steve Downie 

Flyers Projected Lineup

Line 1: Scott Hartnell-Claude Giroux-Jake Voracek
Line 2: Tye McGinn-Brayden Schenn-Wayne Simmonds
Line 3: Michael Raffl-Sean Couturier-Matt Read
Line 4: Zac Rinaldo-Vincent Lecavalier-Adam Hall

D-Pair 1: Kimmo Timonen-Braydon Coburn
D-Pair 2: Nick Grossmann-Mark Streit
D-Pair 3: Andrew MacDonald-Luke Schenn

Goalie: Steve Mason

Where to Watch
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Kevin Durso is the lead beat writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.