Winning four of five games would have any team feeling a sense of accomplishment, but the Philadelphia Flyers don’t want to dwell on the past.
They should like what’s in their future.
The Flyers attempt to continue their success against the struggling Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night in the first of two matchups this week.
Philadelphia’s turnaround includes wins over reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago and the New York Rangers – last season’s Presidents’ Trophy winner. The Flyers (4-2-1) beat the Rangers 3-2 in a shootout Saturday and are trying to look forward instead of reveling in the past.
"It was (three) days ago," right wing Jakub Voracek told the team’s official website. "Now you have to focus for (Tuesday) and stop living in the past. I think that’s what winning teams do.
"They just move on and it doesn’t matter if they lost or they won the day before. Buffalo is coming in; it’s a very young team with a lot of talent up front. We’ve got to make sure that we play good defense and be patient."
The Flyers are 10-2-1 against the Sabres (2-6-0) since 2011-12, going 5-0-1 in the past six. That defeat came in the last matchup Feb. 19 when Philadelphia fell 3-2 in a shootout, ending a five-game home winning streak in the series.
The Flyers visit Buffalo on Friday, a day after hosting New Jersey – another team that missed the playoffs last season.
"I think (you avoid a letdown) just by focusing on the right things," first-year coach Dave Hakstol said. "I don’t want to guard, so to speak, anything. I want to know what the opportunity is, and what we have to do from our perspective to be prepared to go out and take advantage of that."
There should be plenty to take advantage of with Buffalo giving up 11 goals in losing its last two games, including 4-3 to the Devils on Saturday.
Losses aren’t the only things piling up as injuries have become a major problem with Zach Bogosian (lower body) and goaltender Robin Lehner (ankle) out. Now, Evander Kane is lost for four to six weeks with an MCL injury in his left knee.
"A lot of the speed and a lot of the tenacity and a lot of our drive, he’s been that for our offense," coach Dan Bylsma said of Kane’s contributions outside of his three points. "He doesn’t quite have the numbers, but yes he’s been that for our team. Someone else gets the chance to do that now."
Nicolas Deslauriers is expected to replace Kane on the top line with Ryan O’Reilly and Tyler Ennis, who have combined for five goals and six assists.
Jack Eichel, the second overall pick of the draft, has three goals after finding the net Saturday. All of the center’s scoring, however, has come in six home games.
After this contest, Buffalo visits Pittsburgh on Thursday.
The Flyers may have Michael Raffl available after he was accidentally struck in the head by Jarret Stoll’s elbow in the second period Saturday. Raffl became dizzy and passed out for a couple of seconds on the bench, but he was a full participant at practice on Monday, according to the team website.
"I feel fine now," Raffl said. "I don’t know, I just got elbowed in the corner there and felt a little dizzy and was just trying to make my way back to the bench to take a seat, and next thing I know I just woke up again and everybody was freaking out."
Raffl has two goals in his last three games against Buffalo.