The Flyers have won eight in a row and will need to make it nine to keep pace with the Washington Capitals.
“We talked to our group this morning that there are no easy games in this league,” coach Alain Vigneault said Saturday morning. “We need to be focused. We need to be prepared.”
The Sabres have lost five in a row and star captain Jack Eichel is in a six-game scoring slump, the longest of his five-year career. The Flyers pounded the Sabres, 6-1, in December when Buffalo was without Eichel.
Carter Hart will start in net for the Flyers. He’ll be opposed by Buffalo’s Carter Hutton. Hart is 19-2-2 at home and his only regulation loss at home in the last four months was 1-0 to Tampa Bay, which had won 10 in a row at that point.
After Saturday, the Flyers have the conference’s two best teams on the horizon. Boston is here on Tuesday. Philadelphia will play at Tampa on Thursday.
Scott Laughton, who has played for five coaches in his eight seasons with the Flyers, said there would be no looking past Buffalo.
“Our team has done a good job of not getting too high or too low,” said Laughton, who has nine points in the last six games. “That’s one of the strengths we’ve [developed] this year instead of past years, where it’s affected us more. We’re a pretty even-keeled team."
The Flyers are the only one of the NHL’s 31 teams that has not lost consecutive games since early January. They are looking for their first division title since 2011.
“We had a good morning skate, the guys had a day off yesterday,” Vigneault said. “They should have a lot of energy tonight. We should be good.”