Flyers hope to earn more points vs. Sabres

( - Though they have lost three of their past four games, the Philadelphia Flyers continue to earn points that have kept their playoff hopes alive.

The Flyers try to extend an eight-game point streak with a victory on Sunday evening as they visit the new-look Buffalo Sabres.

Philadelphia has dropped consecutive overtime decisions to Montreal and Columbus, but is still 5-0-3 over its last eight games. That has the Flyers fifth in the Metropolitan Division but only seven points back of the Boston Bruins for the Eastern Conference's second wild card spot.

A big point perhaps got away from the Flyers on Friday as they failed to hold a two-goal lead in the third period of a 4-3 overtime setback to the Blue Jackets.

Wayne Simmonds scored twice and assisted on Sean Couturier's goal, while Ray Emery made 29 saves.

"Any time you're up 3-1 in the third, you want to put that away for sure," said Emery.

Defenseman Andrew MacDonald missed the game due to a death in the family, but is expected to return tonight for the finale of a four-game road trip. Fellow blueliner Braydon Coburn and forward Michael Raffl could also return to the lineup this evening.

Coburn has not played since suffering a lower-body injury on Jan. 12, while Raffl has been out since Jan. 27 because of pneumonia.

Emery figures to get the start and is 12-6-1 lifetime versus the Sabres with a 3.03 goals against average and .906 save percentage in 20 meetings.

The Sabres have been out of action since a 2-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, but still made plenty of headlines in the time passed.

Buffalo, which is last in the NHL with 35 points, pulled off a big trade with the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday, getting forward Evander Kane and defenseman Zach Bogosian along with the rights to collegiate goaltender Jason Kasdorf.

In return, the Sabres sent a pair of former first-round picks in defenseman Tyler Myers and forward Drew Stafford to Winnipeg along with league forward Joel Armia and junior forward Brendan Lemieux. The Jets also obtained a first- round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Bogosian, the third overall pick by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2008 draft, figures to slot in to replace Myers, while Kane is unlikely to play again this season due to a shoulder injury, but could be an important building block for the Sabres.

The Sabres also made a goaltender swap with the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, exchanging Jhonas Enroth for Anders Lindback and a 2016 third-round pick.

The 26-year-old Lindback posted only two wins in 10 games with the Stars after signing as a free agent last offseason following a two-year stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Enroth, 26, had a 13-21-2 record with a 3.27 GAA and .903 save percentage in 37 games this season for the Sabres.

The trade of Enroth likely means that Michal Neuvirth will see plenty of starts down the stretch. That should begin tonight and he is 1-2-1 lifetime versus the Flyers with a 3.13 GAA and .895 save percentage in six games (5 starts).

"Sometimes there are silver linings to everything. Enroth did well for us here. Now Neuvirth has a chance to really take his game to the next level" Sabres coach Ted Nolan told his club's website. "And as a goaltender, especially a young goaltender in that position, certainly he's looking forward to it and we're looking forward to watching him."

The Sabres conclude a five-game homestand looking to avoid a fifth straight loss to the Flyers.

Philadelphia extended its series winning streak with a 4-3 triumph in Buffalo on Jan. 17 and has won nine of the past 11 encounters overall.