|Flyers look to sweep host Sabres|
With some of their key contributors back on the ice, the Philadelphia Flyers are starting to feel confident.
Confidence is something the struggling Buffalo Sabres might be lacking.
Aiming for a third straight win, the visiting Flyers look to sweep a weekend set from the Sabres, who on Sunday will try to avoid a sixth consecutive home defeat.
COVID-19 issues hindered Philadelphia most of February, which it opened 1-2-2 before winning its last two contests.
In Saturday's 3-0 victory at Buffalo, Sean Couturier extended his point streak to five games (10 points in seven overall games this season) with a goal and assist. Brian Elliott stopped 23 shots to record his second shutout against the Sabres this season.
Philadelphia also equaled a season high with 39 shots to win back-to-back games for the first time in February.
"Slowly, but surely, we've stuck with the process and our game is getting better," Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said.
Scott Laughton also scored Saturday, while Oskar Lindblom and Jakub Voracek each had an assist, as that trio returned from the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list after missing three games.
"It's great to be back out there," Lindblom said as posted on the Flyers' official Twitter page. "It was a solid game by us. ...It's always good to help the team. Now, we need to get ready for (Sunday)."
Elliott is 15-2-2 with a 1.69 goals-against average and .944 save percentage all-time versus Buffalo.
However, he could give way Sunday to Carter Hart, who is 1-1-2 with a 4.28 goals-against average this month. Hart was pulled after allowing four goals on 22 shots in a little more than 28 minutes of a 6-1 home loss to Buffalo on Jan. 18.
The Sabres, though, have been outscored 18-7 during an 0-4-1 home skid, and shut out in two of the last three games there. It's uncertain if Sabres star Jack Eichel will miss a third consecutive game due to a lower-body injury. He's considered day-to-day.
"It is a mental fight to (get) consistent with our game," Buffalo coach Ralph Krueger said. "We need to stay optimistic and positive about us being able to recover... The heart seems to be in the right place, but the energy just isn't there. We've got to make sure that frustration doesn't come into our game and that fight comes out early."
Buffalo's Carter Hutton (1-5-1, 3.20 GAA) made 36 saves on Saturday, and with teammate Linus Ullmark (lower-body injury) out at least a month, according to the team, he could be back in net for this contest.
Backing up Hutton is Jonas Johansson, whose only action of the season came when he stopped eight of nine shots after replacing an injured Hutton in a 3-0 loss at Philadelphia on Jan. 19.
The Sabres' Victor Olofsson leads the team with 15 points, but he has just a single goal in his team's three games against the Flyers, which include two losses.
Couturier has three goals with five assists in his last six games versus Buffalo.
--Field Level Media