Flyers host Sabres in battle of sliding clubs
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams attempting to end three-game slides will meet Sunday evening in Philadelphia, as the Flyers host the Buffalo Sabres from Wells Fargo Center.
While the Flyers have lost three straight in regulation, the Sabres have at least been able to secure two points during their current 0-1-2 stretch. Buffalo has gained points in five of its past six games, going 3-1-3 in that span.
Buffalo suffered a shootout loss Thursday in New Jersey despite holding a 2-0 advantage in the third period. Patrik Elias tied the game late in regulation and scored in the shootout to lift the Devils to the 3-2 win at Prudential Center.
Brian Flynn's first NHL goal gave the Sabres a 2-0 lead midway through the third period. New Jersey fought back, however, and pulled even just as goaltender Johan Hedberg went to the bench for an extra skater. Buffalo's Jhonas Enroth kicked out David Clarkson's long shot, but Elias buried the rebound with 1:06 remaining.
Enroth, making his first start since Feb. 5, was injured on the tying goal.
Ryan Miller took over between the pipes and Clarkson beat him with a backhander to begin the second round of the shootout. After Buffalo captain Jason Pominville missed the net, Elias sealed it with a great deke to the forehand.
Enroth had 27 saves before muscle cramps forced his departure. Miller will get the start on Sunday, but Enroth expects to be healthy enough to serve as the backup.
"I like the way our team's competing right now," Sabres interim head coach Ron Rolston said. "If we continue to do that we're going to win hockey games."
Buffalo lost defenseman Andrej Sekera to an undisclosed injury in Thursday's game and he is expected to sit out Sunday.
The Sabres are capping a three-game road trip on Sunday and are 5-7-2 as the guest this season.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, lost for the fourth time in six outings Saturday, as the Flyers were handed a 3-0 setback in Boston. The shutout defeat comes on he heels of Thursday's 5-4 home loss to Pittsburgh, which overcame a 4-1 first- period deficit to beat the Flyers.
Tuukka Rask turned back all 23 shots he faced in Saturday's win and Boston scored all three of its goals within a 2:18 span in the first period. The Flyers suffered their first shutout loss at TD Garden since a 1-0 overtime setback on Jan. 25, 2003.
"After 1-0, we stopped competing," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "They scored a goal and we never recovered. We never responded to it. We were looking for a response from last game and that wasn't the response we were looking for."
Ilya Bryzgalov finished with 25 saves for Philadelphia, which is on its third three-game losing streak of the season. The Flyers haven't lost four in a row since they went 0-3-2 during a five-game slide from March 31-April 8, 2011.
Philadelphia defenseman Andrej Meszaros returned to the lineup Saturday for the first time since Jan. 24, having missed the team's previous 21 games with a dislocated shoulder.
The Flyers are 7-4-1 on home ice this season and they had won two straight at Wells Fargo Center before losing to Pittsburgh on Thursday.
The Sabres and Flyers met once early this season and Buffalo recorded the 5-2 home win in that Jan. 20 meeting. Philadelphia has taken six of nine overall in this series and the Sabres have lost two straight and three of four in the City of Brotherly Love.
03/10 11:28:15 ET