Sabres-Flyers Preview

The Associated Press

With their offense suddenly clicking, the Philadelphia Flyers have doubled their season's win total in just over a week.

Winners of four of five games, the Flyers look for a fifth straight home victory over the reeling Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

Philadelphia (8-10-2) defeated Ottawa 5-2 on Tuesday, and has tallied at least four goals three times in its last five games after reaching that mark just once in its first 15 contests.

''The team looks good right now," defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. "A lot of things are going well for us now and we have to keep it going.''

Timonen had a goal and two assists against the Senators while Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds and Adam Hall also scored. Steve Mason made 32 saves and has a 1.56 goals-against average in his last five starts.

"Overall, the way he played was unbelievable," Timonen said of Mason's performance. "Not just this game, the whole year. When your goalies play like that, they give you the chance to win games every time."

By picking up nine points in their last five games, the Flyers have doubled their point total from Nov. 9. They're averaging 3.6 goals in their last five after recording 1.5 per game in their first 15.

"A couple weeks ago we were down and we weren't getting bounces," Simmonds said. "Times have turned, we are starting to get bounces and now we are getting more confident and we are getting better going late into games and it's starting to show."

The Sabres (5-17-1) could use a turnaround of their own.

Buffalo, which has an NHL-worst 11 points, has just two regulation victories, and the team is coming off Tuesday's 4-1 loss to St. Louis.

Interim coach Ted Nolan, who took over on Nov. 13 for Ron Rolston, said his team's young roster still has a long way to go before it can be competitive.

"We knew it was going to be tough," Nolan said. "We've just got to keep teaching, keep learning. You could tell some of the difference between some of the young players we have and some of the mature players (the Blues) have. It's just part of maturing."

One major problem for Buffalo this season has been awful starts to games. The team has been completely dominated in the first 20 minutes of action, getting outscored 31-4. The Sabres have been outscored just 41-35 the rest of the way.

Buffalo was actually able to find the back of the net on Tyler Ennis' goal just 10 seconds into Tuesday's game. Buffalo gave it right back, however, as St. Louis tied the score less than a minute later, and added another first-period goal for good measure.

"We learned to have a start," Ennis said. "Sometimes we've been starting slow. This time, we started fast and scored. Then we kind of let off the gas. Those are the things we need to fix."

Buffalo took two of three from Philadelphia last season with each team winning at home.

The Flyers have outscored the Sabres 17-7 in winning four straight meetings in Philadelphia, including the 2011 playoffs.

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