Keys To Tonight’s Sabres-Flyers Tilt

By David Kolb

BUFFALO SABRES (1-2-1) @ PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (2-3-1)

CHANGE IN NET

Blues Nilsson Away

Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson will make his first start of the season tonight, as starter Robin Lehner is day-to-day (illness). The Sabres acquired the 6-foot-6, Swedish netminder from the St. Louis Blues in July in for a 2017 fifth-round pick. In 52 career NHL games, he’s posted a 19-22-4 record with a .900 save percentage and a 3.09 goals-against average.

QUICK FIX ON THE BACKLINE

Coach Dan Bylsma has liked what he has seen from Dmitry Kulikov through the first two weeks of the season and tonight Kulikov will move from the third defensive pairing up to the second to play with Zach Bogosian. Kulikov has played 20:07 per game this year and has looked rock-solid in all situations.

SHIFT UP FRONT

Sabres Reinhart Road Stock 101216

Forward Sam Reinhart has been playing on the wing the early part of this season, but tonight will shift to center to anchor the second line of Tyler Ennis and Zemgus Girgensons. The newly formed first-line will include two former New York Islanders with Matt Moulson and Kyle Okposo on the wings and Ryan O’Reilly in the middle.

FLYERS FLYING

After Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek combined for just three goals in their first 35 games to start last season, the Flyers’ dynamic duo have already potted three goals with 12 assists for 15 points in their first six games this season.

WEARY FLYERS?

The Flyers dropped a 3-1 game in Montreal last night and will skate in the back end of their second back-to-back this season tonight. The first time Philly skated in a back-to-back, they fell to the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 in overtime on October 15.