Jake Voracek: Flyers won't look past Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo has the worst record in the East, but the Flyers won't look past the Sabres, the winger says.
The Flyers will try to win their fifth straight game in regulation for the first time since 2010 when they host Buffalo on Thursday night, and there might be a temptation to think the Sabres – who have just 22 points and are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference – will be a pushover.
Wrong, high-scoring right winger Jake Voracek said.
"We're not in a position to look past teams," Voracek said after Thursday's morning skate at the Wells Fargo Center. "We just lost 10 in a row not too long ago, and we can't look at it that they're last in the East and this is going to be easy. No way. Our attitude is going to be the same for everyone and make sure we don't change anything from the past games."
Voracek, mindful the Flyers lost to an Arizona team that had dropped its first 11 games earlier this season, said the Sabres "still have a lot of dangerous players, and if you don't play the way you should play, you're going to get burnt. We have to make sure we don't turn the puck over at the wrong part of the game or the wrong part of the ice."
Buffalo (8-17-6) is 2-0-2 in its last four games, including three on the road: Colorado, Chicago, and St. Louis.
"If you want to compare recent results for both teams, they're similar," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.
The Flyers (12-11-7) have inched to within four points of a playoff spot after starting their five-game home stand with a workmanlike 4-2 comeback win over Toronto on Tuesday.
Hall of Fame goalie Bernie Parent, dressed as Santa, will join student-athletes from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation as they present gifts to patients at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children at 10 a.m. Monday. The patients will be in the hospital during the holidays.
The Flyers' power play is 4 for 14 (28.6 percent) during their four-game winning streak. The PP was just 4 for 30 (13.3 percent) during their 10-game winless skid.
Michael Raffl will play in his 300th NHL game tonight. … Brian Elliott will make his sixth straight start in the nets. Goalie Michal Neuvirth skated before practice and is trying to work his way back from an unspecified injury. … The Flyers have allowed only two power-play opportunities or fewer in their last five games. … The Flyers have won three of their last four against the Sabres, including the last two at the Wells Fargo Center. … Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner has stopped 149 of 159 shots for a .937 save percentage in his last four games. … Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has averaged 28:29 of ice time in his last five games. He is minus-9 for the season. … The Flyers have allowed a league-low 44 goals in five-on-five situations. … Rookie Robert Hagg is tied for third in the NHL with 101 hits. … Hakstol said speedy winger Travis Konecny brings "a little bit more of a shooting element, and an attacking-the-net element" to the fourth line.