By Connor Thomas
Well, last night did not go as planned for the orange and the black. There’s no other way to describe it than to say that game was UGLY. From almost the opening puck drop, the Flyers seemed sloppy. In spite of a couple rough turnovers, though, Philadelphia was able to outshoot Buffalo in the first period. One sneaky backhand from Sabres center Curtis Lazar snuck over Carter Hart’s glove side shoulder, but all things considered, the game seemed very much in contention with Buffalo holding a 1-0 advantage at the first intermission. The 2nd period would put that notion to bed.
Just 3 and a half minutes into the 2nd, the Sabres took advantage of a power play opportunity as Sam Reinhart was able to net one to push the lead to 2-0. Then, only 3 minutes after that extending goal, Reinhart lit the lamp again thanks to some porous defense by the Flyers. It seemed all night that Buffalo had clear shooting lanes, and when they didn’t, Philly was happy to turn the puck over in a dangerous spot to help create those opportunities. Stop me if you’ve read this already, but just a few minutes later, the Flyers would give up another goal to let the Buffalo lead to grow to 4. This one came courtesy of Curtis Lazar, but maybe more of the reason for the goal was Erik Gustafsson, who had a “pants around his ankles moment” when he seemingly got his hands tied up as a pass slowly trickled through his legs in front of the crease to a waiting Lazar with a wide open net. Though the 4th goal couldn’t be faulted to Carter Hart, Alain Vigneault pulled his young net minder at this point, electing to insert Brian Elliott for his first action of the season.
It seemed that Buffalo let up on the forecheck in the 3rd period, but even with a relaxed approach the Sabres were able to score 2 more times in the final period. The Flyers were able to avoid the shutout thanks to a late goal by Nicolas Aube-Kubel, but the 6-1 loss was one to forget in South Philadelphia. There won’t be much time for the Flyers to lick their wounds, as the two teams face off again tonight on the back end of a back to back. While Brian Elliott did see some time in net in relief last night, he could see his first start between the pipes tonight for the Flyers if Vigneault decides to give Carter Hart a night off. The Flyers dropped to 2-1 while the Sabres improved to 1-2.
Tonight’s Game Info:
Puck Drop: 7pm
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: Right here on 97.5 The Fanatic!