Flyers stay hot; Sabres? Not so much

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One day after the trade deadline, both the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers face long odds in making the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Flyers are playing as if they’re going to max out their chances, while the Sabres’ slippage continues. Philly won 5-2, passed Buffalo for the 10th place in the East, and generated a 45-36 shots on goal advantage.

Philadelphia enjoyed a real team effort, as Claude Giroux was the only Flyers player with a multi-point night via one goal and one assist. Ryan Hartman likely endeared himself to fans missing Wayne Simmonds, even as he didn’t score, as he fired four SOG, delivered four hits, and blocked two shots.

This hit on Rasmus Dahlin brought Flyers fans to their feet:

These two teams continue on opposite trajectories.

On Jan. 12, the Flyers lost 3-2 to the Devils, falling to 16-23-6. Their record is now at 30-26-7. The Sabres briefly stood atop the NHL standings, and enjoyed a 10-game winning streak, yet they’ve gone from 20-9-5 to 29-26-8.

The East’s playoff race is almost certainly boiling down to nine teams fighting for eight spots, so finishing 10th might not end up meaning much, but there’s no denying that the Flyers are hot right now.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.