The Philadelphia Flyers are riding their longest point streak this season picking up at least one point in each of their last eight games (5-0-3). However, they head to Buffalo looking avoid a third straight loss. The Flyers have blown third period leads in back to back games.
Since snapping a franchise-worst 14-game losing skid on Feb. 3, the Buffalo Sabres have just one win in four games and look to avoid a third straight loss tonight.
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can also stream it on NBC Sports Live Extra.
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NHL on NBCSN: Flyers aim to get back on track vs. Sabres
News and notes from around the crease …
No shame about Ray
The Philadelphia Flyers couldn’t have felt great about their slim playoff hopes when Steve Mason went down with his knee injury. For better or worse, it’s on Ray Emery, and Sunday is the kind of game he has to win.
Since taking over for Mason in February, Emery’s gone 1-0-2. The 30-year-old’s overall numbers aren’t much to brag about (9-9-3 with a .890 save percentage), but this stretch will probably make a big impact on how the league views the pugnacious puck-stopper going forward.
On the Buffalo side, Michal Neuvirth gets a chance to stretch his legs in the Sabres’ net with Jhonas Enroth shipped off to Dallas.
The situations are quite different, yet both netminders have plenty to prove today.
Blues at Panthers: Brian Elliott vs. Roberto Luongo
Lightning at Sharks: Expected starters are Ben Bishop against Antti Niemi
Capitals at Ducks: Expected starters are Justin Peters vs. John Gibson
NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign as Buffalo Sabres host the Philadelphia Flyers at the First Niagara Center at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.
The odds remain stacked against the Philadelphia Flyers making the playoffs, but if they want to make a surge, they need to mop up games like Sunday’s match against the Buffalo Sabres.
Philly will display something of a new look on Sunday, as they get some players back from injuries and/or illnesses. Michael Raffl looks like he’ll return to his spot on the Flyers’ vaunted first line while Braydon Coburn should eat up some key minutes on defense.
It’s not the only situation to watch, however, as Zach Bogosian readies for his Sabres debut after the blockbuster Tyler Myers – Evander Kane trade.
Buffalo looks to roll with Michal Neuvirth tonight while the Flyers will go as far as Ray Emery can take them, at least until Steve Mason can return from his knee injury.
(Some believe the Flyers should shut down Mason altogether in 2014-15.)
Can the Flyers lock up two crucial points or will the Sabres play the role of spoiler? We’ll see on NBCSN on Sunday night.
Just a few days ago, forward Drew Stafford and defenseman Tyler Myers were on the worst team in the NHL, then the Buffalo Sabres dealt them to the Winnipeg Jets as part of the Evander Kane trade and suddenly they found themselves with an opportunity to play in the postseason. Stafford and Myers did everything they could to make the most of that chance tonight as they played a key role in the Jets’ 5-4 shootout victory over Detroit.
Myers logged 22:57 minutes and recorded two assists. His first was particularly noteworthy as it was the byproduct of a nice drive on his part that Blake Wheeler ultimately capitalized on.
His second assist came on Stafford’s first goal with Winnipeg, which was an odd one that Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard really should have stopped.
Stafford’s bigger contribution came much later when he fired the deciding shot in the shootout.
Winnipeg has now won three of its last four contests to maintain its five-point cushion over the Minnesota Wild in the battle for a postseason berth.
Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard was starting for the first time since sustaining a groin injury and kicked out 34 of 38 shots. He’s already been confirmed as the starter for Monday’s game against Montreal, per MLive.com writer Ansar Khan. Detroit will be taking a two-game losing streak into that rivalry contest.
Howard returns from groin injury
Jimmy Howard will make his first start since Jan. 10 tonight when the Detroit Red Wings play host to the Winnipeg Jets. Howard missed 10 games with a groin injury. He made four saves in relief of Petr Mrazec on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Howard is 16-7-7 with a 2.09 G.A.A. and a .920 save percentage this season.
Michael Hutchinson is expected to start for the Jets.
Maple Leafs at Canadiens: Jonathan Bernier vs. Carey Price
Blue Jackets at Islanders: Anton Forsberg vs. Jaroslav Halak
Rangers at Coyotes: Cam Talbot vs. Mike Smith
Hurricanes at Wild: Anton Khudobin vs. Devan Dubnyk
Devils at Predators: Cory Schneider vs. Pekka Rinne
Stars at Avalanche: Jhonas Enroth vs. Semyon Varlamov
Canucks at Flames: Ryan Miller vs. Karri Ramo
Capitals at Kings: Braden Holtby vs. Jonathan Quick