BUFFALO -- The Flyers will play three road games over the next five days, a critical stretch as they try to make a late-season push into the playoffs.
"It's probably the biggest week of our season so far," winger Travis Konecny said after Tuesday's morning skate in Buffalo, where the Flyers will face the Sabres at 7:30 tonight.
The Flyers, who have points in their last three games (2-0-1) and sounded like a confident team after Tuesday's skate, also will play in Toronto on Thursday and in Boston on Saturday afternoon.
All three opponents, like the Flyers, are in the playoff hunt. The Flyers sit three points behind the Islanders, who hold the Eastern Conference's last wild-card spot.
Five points separate six teams battling for that final wild-card berth.
"It's very exciting to be in the hunt. Obviously, we would rather be in a different position, but there's nothing we can do about it now," right winger Jake Voracek said. "It's fun when you have something to play for."
Before missing nine games because of a leg injury, Konecny had been playing left wing on the second line. On Tuesday, for the second straight game since he returned to the lineup, Konecny will play right wing on the fourth line, alongside Chris VandeVelde and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
Konecny played 10 minutes, 48 seconds and had two shots on goal in Saturday's 2-1 overtime loss in Washington.
Whether he's on the second on fourth line, "I'm playing the same game. Still trying to make things happen," Konecny said. "I'm not going to change my game according to where I'm playing in the lineup."
Konecny said Bellemare and VandeVelde "are very capable of making nice plays, and they both have a lot of skill, so I don't think it's fair to say I'm going to change my game just because I'm on the fourth. I'm hoping we can get some chemistry and start feeding off each other.
"At the same time, it's good playing with them because I'm learning a lot on the defensive side; just little details that are important as you move on," he added.
Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said "play will dictate" when/if Konecny moves up in the lineup.
At this time of the season, the checking gets tighter, and space on the ice is difficult to find.
"I've even noticed that every shift, there's no room; it's just about capitalizing on mistakes," Konecny said. "There's no toe drags. It's too tight out there and there's no space to move around and you just have to be careful with the puck and be smart."
Konecny stayed on the ice longer than most of his teammates Tuesday morning.
"I was just doing some extra stuff on my own. I'm just trying to get my hands back," he said.
Goalie matchup. Steve Mason will make his fourth straight start for the Flyers in goal. He is on a 2-0-1 run, during which he has a 0.96 goals-against average and .969 save percentage.
Mason will be opposed by Robin Lehner, who is having a solid season – an 18-18-8 record with a 2.59 GAA and .922 save percentage. In three career appearances against the Flyers, Lehner is 1-2 with a 3.35 GAA and .894 save percentage.
Mason has made 10 career appearances against Bufflao, compiling a 5-4-1 record with a 2.45 GAA and .911 save percentage.
Breakaways. The Flyers will use the same lineup that dropped a hard-fought overtime decision Saturday in Washington. ... Konecny said playing well and getting a point against the Capitals was a "confidence builder." ... In two games against Buffalo this season, all four of the Flyers' goals were scored on the power play. In those games, the Flyers have been outscored in five-on-five situations, 3-0. "That's in the past. We have to look at tonight's game," Voracek said. "We have to be patient like we were against Florida" in a recent 2-1 shootout win. ...
Hakstol said the Flyers need to get off to a better start in the first period than they did in Washington. … Buffalo has lost six of its last seven games. … The Flyers have just three wins in their last 17 road games (3-11-3). The Sabres scored a 4-1 win over the Flyers in Buffalo on Jan. 10. … Winger Kyle Okposo, who is second on the Sabres in points (43) and goals (19), will miss the game because of a rib injury.