Flyers return home to face rested Sabres
PHILADELPHIA -- Coming off a tough 3-1 loss in Montreal on Monday night, the Flyers packed their bags and boarded a late flight back to Philadelphia, where they will take on the injury-depleted Buffalo Sabres at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night.
The Flyers (2-3-1) received a strong, 30-save effort from goaltender Steve Mason against the Canadiens but could not solve Montreal goaltender Carey Price, who turned away 32 of their 33 shots.
"We played well," Flyers right winger Jakub Voracek said in Montreal. "It was a good road game. I thought we skated well. Same with the other game we lost this year (in Chicago). We were right there in the third period."
Mason said, "The nice thing, is we can get right back at it (Tuesday night) and hopefully get a better result at home."
Unlike the start of last season, when Claude Giroux and Voracek combined for just three goals in their first 35 games, the two already have a totaql of three goals and 12 assists in their first six games this season.
The Sabres (1-2-1) arrived in Philadelphia on Monday, several hours before the Flyers. They have not played since a 2-1 loss to the Canucks in Vancouver on Thursday, and their three points are the fewest in the Eastern Conference.
Both teams are expected to go with their backup goaltenders. Flyers netminder Michal Neuvirth (1-0-0, 4.23 goals-against average, .854 save percentage) is likely to see his first action since being pulled in the 7-4 loss to the Blackhawks on Oct. 18.
The Sabres will go with goaltender Anders Nilsson in place of regular starter Robin Lehner, who remained home in Buffalo with an illness. Lehner played in each of the Sabres' first four games, in which Buffalo was outscored 12-11.
Nilsson, 26, went 10-13-2 with the Edmonton Oilers and St. Louis Blues last season. He was traded to the Sabres last summer for a seventh-round pick.
The Sabres recalled goalie Linus Ullmark from Rochester of the AHL to serve as Nilsson's backup on Tuesday night.
In an effort to ignite an offense that has been without dynamic forwards Jack Eichel (high ankle sprain, six weeks) and Evander Kane (fractured ribs, one to two weeks), the Sabres likely will have a new look on their top two lines and their bottom two defense pairs Tuesday.
Buffalo coach Dan Bylsma said he would move 20-year-old Sam Reinhart from right wing to center in an effort to get more offense out of the third-year forward. Through four games, Reinhart has no goals and two assists. He will skate between left winger Tyler Ennis and right winger Zemgus Girgensons. Ennis has no goals and one assist, and Girgensons has one goal.
"When I'm at my best, I'm moving my feet," Reinhart told the Buffalo News. "I'm taking up time and space on the forecheck. At times when I move to center, it helps me do that."
On the back end, the Sabres' top pairing of Josh Gorges and Rasmus Ristolainen will remain intact, but Dmitry Kulikov will move up to play alongside Zach Bogosian on the second pair, and Jake McCabe will play beside Cody Franson on the third grouping.