Buffalo Sabres at Philadelphia Flyers Game Preview 1/18/21

Expected Lines: 

Buffalo Sabres 

Hall – Eichel – Reinhart*/Mittelstadt 

Olofsson – Staal – Cozens 

Rieder – Eakin – Thompson 

Skinner – Lazar – Sheahan

McCabe – Ristolainen 

Dahlin – Montour

Miller – Jokiharju

Ullmark

Philadelphia Flyers

Giroux – Hayes – Farabee

Lindblom – Patrick – Konecny

Van Riemsdyk – Frost – Voracek

Raffl – Laughton – Aube-Kubel 

Provorov – Braun

Sanheim – Myers

Haag – Gustafsson

Hart

News and Notes:

Cozens in the Top-6

Following the Sabres second loss to the Capitals on Friday, Ralph Krueger insisted there would be changes to the lines. As the Sabres took the ice for practice on Sunday, changes to the lines there were.

Aside from Mittelstadt sliding in for a missing Reinhart, Sunday’s practice was the first look at Krueger’s new lines. According to Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News, rookie Dylan Cozens moved up to the 2nd line with Victor Olofsson and Eric Staal while Tage Thompson moved down to the 3rd line with Tobias Rieder and Cody Eakin.

While the Sabres have been consistent with their first round star from 2019, Krueger hasn’t been shy about his trust in Cozens, “What stands out truly is his ability to take care of the gritty work that needs to be done to play in the National Hockey League and to not be a risk.”

Whether the lines stick for the entirety of the game or not, it should be interesting to see Cozens in an elevated role.

Reinhart a game-time decision

Ralph Kreuger announced that Sam Reinhart would be a game-time decision prior to Monday’s game with the Flyers.

While Reinhart was absent from practice on Sunday with Casey Mittelstadt sliding into his spot, the forward returned to the ice on Monday and is expected to be in the lineup against the Flyers.

Flyers Hot Start

The Flyers are off to a hot start in the East Division with a 2-0 record at home while so far out-scoring opponents 11-5. Travis Konecny has led the way so far with five points through two games. 22 year old goaltender Carter Hart has been sharp with a .925sv% through the first two games.

Goaltending Battle

All indications point to Carter Hart vs Linus Ullmark in the crease tonight.

Prediction: 

Only three games into the season, another loss tonight could start to spell trouble for the Sabres. While the team’s performance doesn’t necessarily reflect on their record the first two games, the results are the results and points are all that matter at the end of the season. With a 56-game schedule, this team can’t dig themselves into a hole while division foes continue to rack up points.

After going 0/5 last game, the Sabres power play is desperate to find their rhythm. We’re banking on a strong game from the top unit and a desperate Sabres team looking for their first win on the road.

5-3 Sabres with at least two on the power play. Jack Eichel get his first of the season.

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