Alain Vigneault became the ninth coach in NHL history to reach the 700-win mark Sunday when the Flyers defeated Buffalo, 3-0, at KeyBank Center.
“I’ve been very privileged,” he said after the victory. “I’ve worked for eight organizations, and just look at who I’ve worked with and who I’m working with now. I’ve worked with some great GMs and guys who really had my back and worked with me. Those GMs gave me some real good teams, and I was very fortunate to be able to pick my staff and I’ve had some good staffs. I’ve had some great coaches I’ve worked with.
“You put all those things together,” Vigneault added, “and I was able to get to 700.”
Vigneault, who has a 700-460-35-108 career record, paused slightly.
“I’m working on that one thing I don’t have yet,” he said, referring to a Stanley Cup championship, “and I’m going to continue to work real hard for that.”
After a pair of 3-0 wins in Buffalo this weekend, things will get more challenging for the Flyers as they play Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in Pittsburgh.
The Flyers (11-4-3) and Penguins (11-8-1) are among five closely contested teams battling for the East Division’s four playoff spots.
This season, the Flyers are 2-0 against the Pens, outscoring them, 11-5.
Shayne Gostisbehere continues to impress Vigneault, who has the defenseman on the top pairing and the No. 1 power-play unit.
“He’s playing with a lot more pop in his step,” Vigneault said. “He’s healthy right now. Great for him, great for us, great for our team. And he’s obviously playing with more confidence, offensively and defensively.”
Gostisbehere, who was plus-2 Sunday in 19:31, and Ivan Provorov spent a lot of time matched against Jack Eichel and Buffalo’s top line.
“Those are top-end players, and we’re going to see some top-end players against Pittsburgh, and we’re going to expect him and our whole team to be ready for it,” Vigneault said.
Provorov had four shots, three hits, thee blocks, an assist, and a plus-2 rating Sunday. He entered the contest averaging 25:41 of ice time per game, fourth in the NHL.
The Flyers will play 17 games in the 31 days of March, and 15 games over the 30 days of April. ... Phil Myers (assist, four shots, plus-1) returned to the lineup after a one-game benching and was alongside Robert Hagg (assist, two blocks, plus-1) on the third pairing. Erik Gustafsson was a healthy scratch. ... The Flyers’ penalty kill was 6 for 6 in the weekend sweep of Buffalo. ... In the first seven games, rookies Zayde Wisdom and Max Willman each have six goals – tied for second in the AHL entering Sunday – for the Phantoms (4-1-2). Wisdom, 18, was a fourth-round selection last year. Willman, 26, drafted by Buffalo in the fifth round in 2014, was signed as a free agent in 2020.