Sports

Flyers visit Sabres aiming to halt scoring drought

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers are hoping to end a scoring drought and return to the win column when they visit the struggling Buffalo Sabres for Saturday's battle at First Niagara Center.

The Flyers tied a season high for goals in Monday's surprising 7-3 rout of the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning, but Philadelphia was shut out in its next two outings. Craig Berube's club dropped a 1-0 road decision in Washington on Wednesday before returning home to lose 4-0 to Vancouver on the following night.

Philadelphia enters Saturday with a scoring drought of 144 minutes, 59 seconds after the consecutive shutout defeats. The Flyers were blanked in two straight games last April against St. Louis and Columbus, but this marks the first time the club was shut out in back-to-back games in regulation since Nov. 28-Dec. 3, 2009 (1-0 at ATL and 3-0 vs. VAN).

Ryan Miller stopped all 30 shots sent his way on Thursday, while Vancouver rode an early burst of offense to the easy win in the City of Brotherly Love.

Starter Ray Emery was pulled early in the second period after giving up three goals on 12 shots. Rob Zepp finished the contest by allowing one goal on 10 shots. Zepp was beaten on a breakaway just 22 seconds after entering the game before stopping nine straight shots.

Berube felt his team quit after allowing Vancouver to grab the lead on Nick Bonino's goal just 6:35 into the game.

"You know the thing that bothers me about it all is that it is only 1-0. There is a lot of hockey left, you know play and compete and work," Berube said. "That is the one thing that you can control, how hard you compete and you know we stopped doing that."

The Flyers played without Scott Laughton on Friday, as the rookie centerman sat out with an upper-body injury. Laughton is questionable for tonight.

Philadelphia, which is 13 points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, only has three wins in its last 11 trips to the ice, going 3-7-1 during that stretch.

The Flyers are just 6-14-4 on the road this season and hope to halt a six-game slide as the guest. Philadelphia hasn't earned a road victory since Dec. 23 in Minnesota, but the Orange and Black have claimed eight wins over their last 12 trips to Buffalo.

Philly also has taken three in a row and eight of the last 10 games in this series and tonight the Flyers face a Sabres team on a nine-game losing streak.

Buffalo has failed to pick up a single point in three weeks, going 0-9-0 since earning a shootout win over the visiting New York Islanders on Dec. 27. The Sabres, who are last in the East standings, are just 1-12-1 over their last 14 games.

On Thursday, the Sabres faced a Minnesota team which had lost six in a row but the Wild were able to get off the schneid with a resounding 7-0 win in Buffalo. The Sabres sent just 18 shots at Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who notched a shutout in his Minnesota debut after coming over from Arizona in a trade on Wednesday.

Jhonas Enroth was responsible for all seven goals on 37 shots for Buffalo.

"There's no excuse for it," said Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges. "There's no way that this should happen."

It was the fourth straight home loss for Buffalo, which fell to 10-12-2 this season in Western New York. The Sabres complete a three-game homestand tonight before beginning a five-game road trip tomorrow in Detroit.