Host Philadelphia looks to end its overall skid and beat Buffalo for the third straight time when the teams meet Saturday afternoon.
The Flyers (40-17-6) have lost consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 20 and 28, falling 4-1 at Ottawa last Saturday and 3-2 on Thursday to surging Toronto. Philadelphia has also lost three of its last four, but hasn’t dropped three in a row since Nov. 26-Dec. 1.
The Flyers went 0 for 3 on the power play against the Maple Leafs - dropping them to 1 for 23 over their last seven games - and committed seven penalties, which coach Peter Laviolette said contributed to his club’s fatigue later in the game.
“It’s difficult when you’re taxing the same guys on the penalty kill,” Laviolette told the league’s official website. “They get worn down. It’s hard to get a flow on the bench. There’s guys that sit for extended periods of time. We had eight minutes in the first period on the penalty kill. It disrupts the flow of the game and disrupts the flow of the bench.”
Kris Versteeg(notes) scored both goals in Thursday’s loss for Philadelphia, which played without Jeff Carter(notes), Darroll Powe(notes) and Dan Carcillo(notes) - all out with flu-like symptoms. It’s unclear if they’ll be healthy enough to face the Sabres, whom the Flyers have beaten twice this season.
Buffalo could badly use a different result this time around, especially as it sits on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
The ninth-place Sabres (30-25-8) are three points behind eighth-place Carolina, where they lost 3-2 in overtime on Thursday. Buffalo, in the midst of a seven-game road trip, had its four-game road winning streak snapped but managed to earn a point for the fifth straight game (3-0-2).
“I guess (the loss) is not so bad, but we let (the game) go,” said Miller, who is 0-2-0 with a 4.54 GAA against the Flyers this season.
Buffalo is 7-1-1 in its last nine on the road, while Philadelphia is 1-2-1 in its last four home games.