Friday, February 12, 2016

Flyers try to extend points streak; Emery gets nod

The Flyers will try to exploit the weaknesses of the NHL’s worst team, the Buffalo Sabres, when the teams meet Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Flyers try to extend points streak; Emery gets nod

(Gary Wiepert/AP file photo)
(Gary Wiepert/AP file photo)

The Flyers will try to exploit the weaknesses of the NHL’s worst team, the Buffalo Sabres, when the teams meet Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

With a five-game points streak (4-0-1), the Flyers (8-10-2) have inched closer to .500 and are within three points of third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Buffalo (5-17-1) has lost two straight and has been outscored by a 30-goal margin this season.

The Sabres have not led at the end of the first period in any of their 23 games, and they have been outscored in the opening period, 31-4.

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Goalie Ray Emery (2-3, 2.82, .898) will start for the Flyers. This will be his first game since he defeated the Penguins, 2-1, last Wednesday.

For the Flyers, this is the second of a three-game homestand, which started with a 5-2 win over Ottawa on Tuesday. The Flyers are just 4-7 at home.

Until their recent surge, the Flyers were the NHL’s lowest-scoring team. They have moved to 28th (2.00 goals per game), while the Sabres are now at the bottom, scoring 1.7 goals per game. The Flyers are 11th in goals allowed (2.45), and Buffalo is 26th (3.13).

It sounds strange when you consider their awful start (1-7), but Flyers coach Craig Berube will have to preach to his team not to be overconfident in Thursday’s matchup. They have played three strong periods in most of their recent games, and Berube will be trying to get the same type of consistency.

Berube scoffed at the notion the Flyers could look past the Sabres.

"We're not in the playoffs, are we? We can't overlook anybody," he said. "You don't overlook any team in the NHL anymore. Every game is tough."

Statistically, Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller is not having the best of seasons _ though he could sue for non-support _ but he can be an equalizer.

Breakaways. The Flyers ahave scored the first goal in all eight of their wins....Jake Voracek has a five-game points streak (two goals, four assists)....The Flyers have scored at least one power-play goal in four straight games, going 5 for 12 in that span. In their last three games, their PK has allowed five goals in 14 chances.....Excluding an empty-net goal, the Flyers have surrendered only 11 goals, total, in their last eight games...Buffalo is 0-15 when trailing after two periods....Steve Mason's .932 save percentage is fifth among goalies who have played at least 15 games.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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Sam Carchidi Staff Writer
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