The Buffalo Sabres beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-1 on Monday, a game that looked pretty much over halfway in. Here are some takeaways from the Sabres’ one-sided win against the Flyers.
Hart will suffer nights like these as the Flyers’ workhorse
Through the first two games of the season, Carter Hart generated a .925 save percentage. His save percentage is … no longer that high after the Sabres flattened the Flyers.
After Curtis Lazar scored his second goal of the game to make it 4-0, Hart got the hook. His night ended a little bit before the halfway point of that game.
(Aside: remember when Lazar seemed like a big deal?)
Unfortunately for the Flyers, they couldn’t just chalk this loss up to a tough night for Hart. Instead, the Sabres really took it to the Flyers, and Philly never really put up much of a fight.
Through 2 periods the Flyers trail 26-15 in overall shots and 24-14 in 5-on-5 shots.
At 5-on-5 the Flyers have a 50.67 Corsi-for percentage (38 shot attempts for, 37 against) and a 44.83 Expected Goals-for percentage. pic.twitter.com/PftSacO2dy
— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 19, 2021
That said, the Flyers might ask Hart to steal games here and there. The promising young netminder has that potential, but he couldn’t bail his teammates out this time around.
By giving Hart that early hook, at least Alain Vigneault can comfortably turn to Hart as these two teams close off their back-to-back on Tuesday.
At the other end of the rink, Carter Hutton fell just short of a shutout, stopping 21 out of 22 shots.
Sabres benefit from loading up
To start the season, the Sabres went with the Meatloafian two-out-of-three star top line of Jack Eichel, Taylor Hall, and … Tage Thompson. Apologies to large human Tage Thompson, but one could picture the towering forward biffing the occasional layup chance from those two.
In Tuesday’s case, the Sabres stuck Sam Reinhart with Eichel and Hall. Even though Reinhart wasn’t a sure thing to even suit up, he was healthy enough to take advantage of some great chances. Reinhart scored two goals, with Hall and Eichel collecting assists on both tallies.
As impressive as that trio was, the Flyers also made it pretty easy for them at times:
Flyers searching for answers without Sean Couturier
To little surprise, the Flyers missed Sean Couturier as the Sabres dominated them. Having someone who could slow down that top line sure would have been nice. (If Carter Hart didn’t appreciate Couturier already, he likely gained some gratitude after playing without that security blanket of a center.)
The Flyers were still searching for answers late in that lopsided affair. Maybe they’ll find better ones on Tuesday?
Third period lines (so far):
Giroux – Hayes – Konecny
Lindblom – Frost – Voracek
JVR – Patrick – Farabee
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) January 19, 2021
Considering the questionable hit delivered on Rasmus Dahlin with the game well out of hand, these two teams probably won’t need to dig too deep to find reasons for hard feelings going forward …
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.