Tonight’s game started with two quick whistles, which lucky for Flyers fans led to Morgan Frost’s first shift this season. Frost immediately created chances for the Flyers, but unfortunately, the team wasn't able to capitalize. In fact, neither team had much puck luck. Sabres stars Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner intercepted a breakout pass and went in on a 2-on-0, but Carter Hart was up for that challenge. Later in the period, Hart wasn’t so fortunate when Curtis Lazar scored on a quick backhander over his glove side. The Sabres took the 1-0 lead into the intermission.
The second period didn’t get much better for the Flyers, in fact, it was much worse. Between Carter Hart’s puck handling ability (or lack thereof), defensive zone turnovers and terrible passing, the Flyers fell into a 4-0 hole by the midway point in the period. Immediately after the 4th goal, Alain Vigneault pulled Carter Hart for Brian Elliot. This was the first action Elliot has seen this season, as Hart started and won both games prior. Soon after the period came to a close, with the Sabres still leading 4-0.
The third period slowly crept on, Buffalo maintaining their 4-0 lead until a little over midway point of the period when they netted their 5th goal of the game. The 4th line of Michael Raffl, Scott Laughton and Nicolas Aube-Kubel put the Flyers on the board when Aube-Kubel scored his first goal of the season. Yet, the Sabres were able to answer quickly. While on a power-play for a four-minute high sticking penalty that was assessed to Aube-Kubel, Victor Olofsson scored his second of the season. The Sabres earned their first victory of the season whereas the Flyers were handed their first loss in painful fashion.
The Flyers' lackluster performance is hopefully an exception to an otherwise great start for the team. However, the team won’t have much time to dwell on the loss as they are back in action tomorrow night (1/19) once again facing the Sabres. Brian Elliot was named the starter for that game early on Monday, and we expect him to maintain that status.