Flyers

Flyers off to their most prolific start in 38 years — but can they be better?

Flyers

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Flyers open their first back-to-back set of the season when they host the Sabres.

Let's get into the essentials for the game:

  • When: 7:30 p.m. ET with The Warm Up at 6:30 p.m. ET and Flyers Pregame Live at 6:45 p.m. ET
  • Where: Wells Fargo Center
  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• The Flyers are off to their most prolific start offensively in 38 years.

They've scored 11 goals in their 2-0-0 start. The last time they scored 11 or more goals through the first two games of a season was 1982-83, when they put up 12. Led by Bob Clarke, that club went 49-23-8 with 106 points in 80 games.

In their two wins over the Penguins last week, the Flyers were outshot 67-47 and Carter Hart made 62 saves.

"Offensively, scoring 11 goals in two games is exactly what you're looking for," Kevin Hayes said Sunday. "But as a team, as a staff, people watching, I think everyone knows that we need to tighten up defensively. We've talked about it."

Morgan Frost will get his first opportunity of the 2020-21 season as Sean Couturier recovers from a costochondral separation.

Aside from Frost's season debut, the Flyers' lineup will stay the same. The Flyers on Monday afternoon placed Shayne Gostisbehere on non-roster status as the club recalled Connor Bunnaman from the taxi squad to be its 13th forward. Because of COVID protocol, Gostisbehere hasn't practiced with the Flyers since Jan. 8.

• The Sabres have a one-two punch in Jack Eichel and Taylor Hall. The duo has combined for six points (one goal, five assists) in Buffalo's first two games.

 

Eichel has 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in 12 career games against the Flyers, while Hall owns 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 20 lifetime matchups with the orange and black.

"That's probably one of the best duos as far as skill set in the National Hockey League," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Monday morning. "You've got speed, you've got skill; they can beat you in a multitude of ways. For us, it's going to have to be really important tonight to manage that puck well. If we manage the puck well, you take some of their transition opportunities away; we don't want to give them those transition opportunities."

• With a win tonight, the Flyers would be 3-0-0 for the first time since 2011-12.

In his 18th season as an NHL head coach, Vigneault is looking for his second 3-0-0 start. His 2015-16 Rangers started 3-0-0 and finished with 101 points.

• To celebrate Willie O'Ree breaking the NHL color barrier 63 years ago today, NBC Sports will air a special feature on Snider Hockey at the start of the second period on the national broadcast.

Projected lineup

 

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee

James van Riemsdyk-Nolan Patrick-Jakub Voracek

Oskar Lindblom-Morgan Frost-Travis Konecny

Michael Raffl-Scott Laughton-Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun

Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers

Robert Hagg-Erik Gustafsson

Goalies

Carter Hart

Brian Elliott

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