BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Five percent of the Flyers' season is gone, and they've yet to register a point in the standings. That's the unfortunate reality of the NHL's shortened, 48-game season.
Almost all of the Flyers' troubles on their opening weekend could be attributed to shoddy special teams play. Buffalo scored separate power play and shorthanded goals over the final 6 minutes to break a 2-2 tie, dropping the Flyers, 5-2, in their home-opener at the First Niagara Center.
The Flyers were back on the ice early Sunday for their second nationally-televised game of the weekend, less than 20 hours after going 0-for-5 on the power play while allowing 2-of-3 power play goals against Pittsburgh on Saturday.
The Flyers are now 20-14-11 all-time in their first road contest of a season.
This is the Flyers' first 0-2-0 start to the season since 2008. In fact, it took them nearly 85 minutes of play to gain their first lead of the season, which Claude Giroux did with a top-shelf, power play snipe in the second period.
That lead lasted just 10:57, before Thomas Vanek matched for Buffalo with his own man-advantage tally.
Defenseman Tyler Myers broke a 2-2 tie with 5:03 left in the third period. Newly-acquired defenseman Luke Schenn was in the box for two of Buffalo's three power play goals. Cody Hodgson added an insurance goal for the Sabres and Vanek iced it with an empty-netter.
The Flyers closed their first weeked just 4-for-9 on the penalty kill and 1-for-9 on the power play.
SLAP SHOTS: Forward Zac Rinaldo left the game midway through the first period with a “lower-body” injury and did not return. NBC’s Pierre McGuire reported on-air that Rinaldo was cut my a skate. The Flyers are expected to provide more information post-game ... Former Flyer Ville Leino missed the game with a right hip injury ... Moorestown, N.J., native T.J. Brennan was a healthy scratch for Buffalo. The Sabres do not want to risk sending Brennan, 23, back to AHL Rochester through waivers for risk he’ll be claimed ... The Sabres were also missing perennial thorn Nathan Gerbe, who is still recovering from back surgery.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers