Philadelphia Flyers Lose 4-2 Against Buffalo Sabres in Ivan Fedotov’s First Career Start | 04/05/2024

Philadelphia Flyers/NHL

With just one regulation win in their last six games, the Flyers had a lot of work to do to ensure the third-place Metro Division spot is theirs. Ivan Fedotov was given the nod for his first NHL start. Sam Ersson had the night off to rest after being thrusted into the starting goaltender spotlight.

First Period

Less than a minute into the game, the Flyers were given a power play because Bowen Byram slashed Bobby Brink. They weren’t able to generate much, an outcome that has been a trend for this Philadelphia power play for the season.

Ivan Fedotov didn’t have to make his first save until the 14:13 mark. Travis Konecny and Noah Cates generated a two-on-one, but Cates couldn’t find twine. Tyson Foerster tried to bat the puck into the net, but it didn’t go, and the score remained even at zero.

The Flyers’ uncapitalized chances came back to bite them, as Tage Thompson was able to tuck it home past Fedotov. The Mark Staal and Erik Johnson defensive pair have had trouble in the past with defensive breakdowns, and this was no exception.

With 15 seconds left to go in the period, Henri Jokiharju went to the box for roughing Konecny against the boards. Jamie Drysdale was able to put a shot on net, something that was missing when he was out of the lineup.

The Flyers put up eleven shots on goal compared to the Sabres’ four and had two power plays. They had more offensive zone possession. Many players, including Konecny, Foerster, Cates, Garnet Hathaway, and Ryan Poehling, had high-danger chances, but Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen showed up big.

But it’s playoff crunch time. Those “almosts” don’t matter or give the Flyers a point. It is frustrating to watch a team that clearly wants to make the playoffs but is struggling to put up a multi-goal game. The effort and energy is there with this team, but the desired results are hard to come by.

With all that being said, it is important the Flyers bring the energy they established into the second period and find the back of the net.

Score: 1-0 Buffalo

Second Period

The power play was sent out to hopefully start the period on the right foot. Konecny put a shot on goal, but Luukkonen had an answer. Morgan Frost gave the puck away, but thankfully, it was offsides.

Olle Lycksell, who is looking for his first career NHL goal, stuck with a rebound but couldn’t put it past Luukkonen. Luukkonen continued to frustrate the Flyers by being in position, and everywhere he needed to be. At the 16:00 mark, the Flyers had seventeen shots on goal registered. It became more apparent that they just needed to figure out how to crack Luukkonen.

Cates generated another great rush from the defensive zone alongside Cam Atkinson but ultimately came up empty. The Flyers weren’t going to stop trying. With their sustained offensive pressure, something had to give for the Sabres.

Thankfully, it did. Cates finally broke the ice at 10:53. It won’t show up on the stat sheet, but Travis Sanheim pushed the puck out to Cam York on his stomach. York then passed the puck to Owen Tippett, who was on the blue line, who then passed it to Cates, who scored on a nifty wrist shot.

Cates popped the puck over Luukkonen’s shoulder, and the bench could finally exhale. After 23 shots on goal, the Flyers finally got one on the board. Poehling almost added to the score, but unsurprisingly, Luukkonen once again said no. The Sabres responded with their own chance, but Fedotov came up big and stopped Thompson.

Konecny and Jeff Skinner got into a cross-checking match, and both were sent to the box with six minutes remaining in the second. Four-on-four play commenced. It didn’t take long for Dahlin to score top shelf.

Joel Farabee was whacked in the face and left the ice dripping blood, but there was no call.

Then, the Flyers had defensive breakdowns and allowed a stretch pass in the final seconds of the period. Jack Quinn scored his sixth goal of the season with five seconds to go.

The Flyers ended the period with 25 shots on goal, and the Sabres ended with 12. They posted 34 hits compared to the Sabres’ 19. Their face-off percentage was 68.6%, while the Sabres’ was 31.4%. All you can do as a fan is hope this team’s resiliency sees them through the third because it’s a shame their efforts are coming up short.

Score: 3-1 Buffalo

Third Period

The Flyers once again were able to establish pressure, but it quickly turned into both teams flying back and forth on both sides of the ice. Drysdale came up with a big block on Skinner. After Fedotov made a save against Dylan Cozens, Scott Laughton was involved in some pushing and shoving after the whistle, possibly in an attempt to wake the Flyers up.

Just a few moments later, Tippett scored off the bench for his 28th goal of the year. He was hanging around the blue line when he ripped a slapshot past Luukkonen. The Flyers were able to generate two more good chances but couldn’t convert.

Then, Fedotov was called on during a period of solid offensive pressure by the Sabres and answered the call. In return, the Flyers went the other way and created more chances for a sustained amount of time, resulting in an icing by the Sabres.

But the sustained pressure wasn’t enough, and Quinn scored his second goal of the night with six minutes left in the period.

The Flyers’ pulled Fedotov, and the Sabres had a bizarre moment that saved the Flyers. A Sabres player’s stick broke when he was point-blank range from the empty net. Again, they generated chances and pressure but couldn’t break through and save this one.

Final Score: 4-2 Buffalo

Final Thoughts

The Flyers have bought into John Tortorella’s mindset. They have embraced it. Made it their identity. Unfortunately, as they continue down this last stretch of the season, it has become more apparent they still have a piece missing. The rocky start to Sean Couturier’s captaincy and his injury that has him sidelined are not helping their efforts either. There’s still time left in this playoff race, so I’m not going to throw in the towel and quit on them. And I know they will continue to do the best that they can do.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
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  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Maria Kaffes

Maria Kaffes is a sophomore at Syracuse University and covers the Philadelphia Flyers for Inside The Rink. She is pursuing a degree in public relations with double minors in sport management and creative writing. In addition to her role with Inside The Rink, she is the Syracuse Men's Ice Hockey's head photographer.

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