The Flyers host Buffalo on Tuesday, knowing their dramatic win Saturday night over Pittsburgh won’t mean much if they can’t beat the Sabres.

“We’re in a situation where the most important game is the next one we have,” left winger James van Riemsdyk said after Monday’s practice in Voorhees. “Obviously we know how critical every point is.”

The Flyers are seven points out of a playoff spot with 20 games left. They are coming off a comeback win for the ages, Saturday’s 4-3 overtime victory at frenzied Lincoln Financial Field. The victory included two late goals in regulation with goalie Brian Elliott pulled for an extra attacker.

Tuesday’s game isn’t as sexy as the Stadium Series matchup, but it is just as important.

“We really have to maintain a one-game-at-a-time mentality,” interim coach Scott Gordon said. “We’ve been pretty good at that for the last month. With Buffalo, they’re looking at it as a do-or-die game, as I’m sure we are, too.”

The Sabres, one of many teams the Flyers are chasing in the crowed playoff race, took a 29-24-8 record into their game Monday in Toronto, and they are coming off an impressive 5-2 win over defending Stanley Cup champion Washington.

Elliott, who has a 2.54 goals-against average and .917 save percentage after registering Saturday’s win, will face the Sabres. He will become the fourth Flyers goalie to see action against Buffalo this season.

The Flyers (29-26-7) are on a 13-3-1 run. If they went, say, 16-4 the rest of the way, they would finish with 97 points, which is what it took to qualify for the Eastern Conference playoffs last year.

The Flyers are 1-1 against the Sabres this season, losing 5-2 (with an empty-net goal) and winning the rematch, 6-2. Both games were in Buffalo. In the Nov. 21 loss, Alex Lyon (four goals on 12 shots) was the starting goalie and was relieved by Cal Pickard after the first period.

In the Dec. 8 comeback win, Claude Giroux had four points (goal, three assists) and Anthony Stolarz stopped 28 shots of 30 shots to offset Jack Eichel’s two first-period goals for Buffalo.

Eichel entered Monday one goal shy of becoming the third player in franchise history to have four consecutive 20-goal seasons after debuting with the Sabres. The first two: Rick Martin (1971-75) and Thomas Vanek (2005-09).


Defenseman Radko Gudas will return Tuesday from his two-game, NHL-mandated suspension for high-sticking Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov last week. “I didn’t think it was unfair," he said. “I have a history [of suspensions], so maybe they were looking at things a little differently.” ... Right winger Justin Bailey was sent to the Phantoms. ... The Flyers have not been shorthanded in the last two games, during which they are 1-for-5 on the power play. ... The Flyers recalled Samuel Morin from his conditioning stint with the Phantoms. Morin and Phil Myers were the extra defensemen in practice. ... None of the three Flyers goalies who faced the Sabres this season is with the team. ... Goalie Cam Talbot, acquired Feb. 15, said he was getting antsy to make his Flyers debut, which will happen either Thursday in Columbus or Friday in New Jersey. “It’s been a long time, but I’m still settling in here and it was nice to get a good full practice [Monday] for the first time since I’ve been here,” he said. ... Injured goalie Carter Hart should be able to skate this weekend, Gordon said.