OPINION: Three observations: Sabres fall flat in matinee with Flyers

Buffalo struggled in all facets, as the Flyers controlled play all game

The Buffalo Sabres came in to Saturday afternoon's matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers finding out captain Jack Eichel would not be able to go for a second-straight game with a lower-body injury. The team also found out goaltender Linus Ullmark will miss, at least, a month of action with a lower-body injury suffered Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils.

Their absence was felt on Saturday in a 3-0 loss to the Flyers at KeyBank Center.

Let's take a look at three of our observations from Saturday afternoon's game:

1.) Offense, schmoffense

The Sabres played like a team missing one of their biggest offensive pieces in Eichel. While the Sabres captain hasn't been scoring goals, his play typically was leading to opportunities for Buffalo to put the puck in the net.

Even their league-leading power play unit was held off the score sheet on Saturday.

Buffalo has struggled for the past few seasons to generate offense away from their captain. The line of Taylor Hall, Eric Staal and Dylan Cozens has emerged as the Sabres' best chance at generating offense without Eichel on the ice, but even with a decent showing on Saturday, nothing would go in for anyone.

2.) Hutton peppered with shots in the loss

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton faced the bulk of the game's shots, with the Flyers outshooting Buffalo, 39-23. Hutton made 36 saves in the loss.

A couple of breakaways did not go the veteran goaltender's way, including the second goal, which Shayne Gostisbehere took advantage of a quick opportunity where he got behind Colin Miller and took a snapshot that snuck right through Hutton.

Hutton will be seeing a lot more time in the crease in the Sabres' upcoming schedule with Ullmark recovering from his lower-body injury.

Jonas Johansson could also see some time in net, as he is the goalie being carried on the roster, while Dustin Tokarski practices with the taxi squad.

3.) Skinner silent in his return to the lineup

Sabres forward Jeff Skinner returned to the lineup on Saturday, but much like the rest of his teammates, it was a quiet game.

Skinner had the sixth-most time on ice of all forwards with 14:03 played. He was on the ice for a high-danger chance-for and a high-danger chance-against, and he took a hooking penalty late in the game in the offensive zone.

Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger has consistently said that Skinner needs to play within the Sabres' principles. We will see how Skinner's first outing faired in the eyes of his coach after being a healthy scratch for three-straight games.


Buffalo gets a little less than 24 hours before they have to, once again, lace up the skates and take on the Flyers for the second time in as many afternoons.

We'll have Brian Koziol kick off Sunday afternoon's broadcast at 2 p.m. EST with the Paul William Beltz Pregame Show. Puck drop is slated for just after 3 p.m. EST at KeyBank Center, where you can hear all the action on the radio flagship of the Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550.

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