Get your game notes: Flyers at Sabres


Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Buffalo Sabres hosting the Philadelphia Flyers, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

— Former Islander coach (2006-2008) Ted Nolan has been Buffalo’s interim head coach since Nov. 15. Ron Rolston (coach) and Darcy Regier (GM) were let go on Nov. 13 after a 4-15-1 start. On January 9th Sabres president of hockey operations Pat Lafontaine, who was brought on with Nolan, hired Tim Murray as general manager. Nolan coached Buffalo from 1995-1997; the Sabres have gone 9-11-4 since he took over. Buffalo has now had three different coaches between last season and this season after having one (Lindy Ruff) from 1997-2013.

— PHI & BUF are two of the four teams who have made coaching changes in the middle of this season:

Oct. 7: Peter Laviolette, Flyers (replaced by Craig Berube)

Nov. 8: Kevin Dineen, Panthers (replaced by Peter Horachek)

Nov. 13: Ron Rolston, Sabres (replaced by Ted Nolan on interim basis)

Jan. 12: Claude Noel, Jets (replaced by Paul Maurice)

— The Flyers recently wrapped up a 6-game road trip (T-season long) and a stretch of 14 of 18 away from home, Nov. 30-Jan. 7 … they went 11-5-2 during that 18-game span. Coming off of a 4-1 loss at NYR on Sun., Philly (11-11-4 on the road) is one of three teams (Washington, Minnesota) that currently sit in a playoff spot without a winning road record.

— From 1993-2013, Sabres goaltenders posted 111 shutouts (5th most in the NHL). This season, however, the Sabres are one of only two teams that have failed to shut out an opponent (Florida). They rank in the middle of the pack (15th) in goals allowed per game this season however (2.70) and have surrendered one goal in each of their last three games (2-0-1 record).

— The home team has won the last six meetings between Philadelphia and Buffalo, all in regulation. If the Sabres win tonight, they will match the longest active home win streak in a series by two NHL teams (regulation only), held by the Flyers and Blue Jackets. (Elias Sports Bureau)

Consecutive meetings won by home team in series

Philadelphia Flyers / Columbus Blue Jackets 7

*Philadelphia Flyers / Buffalo Sabres 6

San Jose Sharks / Minnesota Wild 6

Phoenix Coyotes / Los Angeles Kings 6

New York Islanders / Edmonton Oilers 6

Nashville Predators / Calgary Flames 6

— Buffalo (6-0-2 in their last 8 home games) sit only behind Anaheim (19-0-2) and Pittsburgh (12-0-0) for the longest active home-ice points streaks in the league.

— When center Vincent Lecavalier assisted on Philadelphia’s only goal in Sunday’s loss to the Rangers, he became only the fourth player to collect his 500th career assist as a member of the Flyers. Bobby Clarke, Rick Tocchet, Chris Pronger are the others. After 14 seasons with Tampa Bay, Lecavalier, 33, has 9 goals and 9 assists on the season with the Flyers thus far. (Elias Sports Bureau)

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky
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Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan

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Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?