Buffalo Sabres (2-6-0) at Philadelphia Flyers (4-2-1)
Probable Starting Goaltenders
Chad Johnson (BUF) vs Steve Mason (PHI)
7pm Puck Drop
Outlook: This will be the first of three meetings this season between clubs. The second will be this coming Friday night back in Buffalo. They have not played against one another since last February (Buffalo won 3-2 in a SO). Since then the Sabres finished dead last and the Flyers weren’t too far behind or shall I say ahead in the standings.
Both clubs brought in new head coaches, Dan Bylsma for Buffalo a former Stanley Cup winning coach and for Philadelphia, they took a different approach. They hired Dave Hakstol from the University of North Dakota. He compiled an overall record of 289-143-43 with a .654 winning percentage in 475 games over an 11 year span. He led North Dakota to a 29-10-3 record with a .726 winning percentage and a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four in 2014-15.
It’s possible the Flyers will throw out former Sabres goaltender Michael Neuvirth into action who has a 2-0 record.
On Saturday Flyers Forward Michael Raffl gave teammates a scare when he experienced a loss of consciousness on the bench after receiving an elbow during play. He left the game but has passes the concussion protocol and practiced with the team Monday. He says he feels great and will be ready Tuesday night vs the Sabres.
Claude Giroux leads the Flyers with 3 goals.
Evander Kane will miss the next 4-6 weeks after leaving Saturday’s game against New Jersey. It’s a lower-body injury (MCL) but will not require surgery. At the Monday morning skate Nic Deslauriers jumped up to the top line with Ryan O’Reilly and Tyler Ennis. Jack Eichel centered Johan Larsson and Sam Reinhart. Tim Schaller was recalled from the Rochester Amerks, he skated with David Legwand, Jamie McGinn and Marcus Foligno. Foligno returned to the ice after being held out versus the Devils.
Prediction: Buffalo 3 Philadelphia 1