The Philadelphia Flyers are the best road team in the NHL, and they’re proving it during a road-heavy stretch.
The Buffalo Sabres are well aware of the Flyers’ exploits at First Niagara Center.
The Flyers looks for a fifth victory in six games by continuing their road dominance of the Sabres on Wednesday night.
Philadelphia (15-7-3) leads the NHL with 19 points away from home, going 9-3-1, and maintained that impressive play in beating Phoenix 4-2 on Saturday to improve to 2-1-0 on its four-game trip.
The Flyers are in the midst of playing 11 of 14 on the road leading into the Winter Classic against the New York Rangers at Citizens Bank Park on Jan. 2.
Concluding this trip in Buffalo may keep the Flyers rolling.
They’re 8-1-2 in their last 11 visits, which includes winning two of three in the playoffs last season en route to eliminating the Sabres in seven games in the first round.
Buffalo is 1-4-1 in its last six at home, and the Flyers’ red-hot power play may play a role in sustaining those woes for the Sabres (14-11-1). The unit is 5 for 12 in consecutive wins to match its production from the previous seven games.
“We worked a lot of hours on the power play last week and obviously it paid off and got us a couple wins,” center Claude Giroux(notes) told the Flyers’ official website. “When the power play gets a couple goals it brings momentum to the team.”
Giroux has four goals in four games, giving him 15 on the season to rank among the league leaders. His scoring has been key to Philadelphia’s success since he has 12 goals and 26 of his team-high 32 points in victories.
“He’s an extraordinary player,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “He really is. It shouldn’t surprise anybody that he is where he is right now. I think the skill level that he has is one thing, but the determination in which he plays the game is really special.”
Giroux has two goals and 15 assists in 19 meetings with Buffalo. He hasn’t scored while assisting on seven goals in nine road matchups.
The Flyers may have James van Riemsdyk(notes) back from an upper-body injury that has sidelined him for four games. The left wing has scored in four consecutive games versus the Sabres, getting two points in last month’s visit to First Niagara Center.
Buffalo is opening a five-game homestand after Saturday’s 3-2 win at Nashville. Miller was superb in his return from a concussion, making 32 saves while the Sabres were outshot 34-14 - 17-4 in the third period.
“I’m happy to be back,” said Miller, who missed nine games. “I’m happy to get a win. It has been a while since I have felt like I have put together a game I could pride myself in.
“It was important for me to go out there and play a solid game. I did the things I wanted to do.”
Miller may be back in net looking to redeem himself after he had the second-shortest appearance of his career in the most recent meeting with the Flyers. He’s 2-6-1 with a 3.15 goals-against average in his last nine home starts against Philadelphia.
Buffalo center Luke Adam(notes) has three goals and one assist in his past four games. His nine goals and 18 points rank him among the NHL’s rookie scoring leaders, and he had a goal and an assist in the last matchup with the Flyers.