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Five things to know for Sabres at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA – For the fourth time in their five games, the Sabres are on the road. On the plus side, they’ve been in town longer than the home team.

After arriving in Philadelphia on Monday afternoon, the Sabres (1-2-1) will visit the Flyers on Tuesday night. While the Sabres were eating and resting, the Flyers sustained a 3-1 loss in Montreal.

"We have to turn the page real quick and get ready to go for a home game," Philly coach Dave Hakstol said Monday night after watching his team give up two goals in the final 6:52 to fall to 2-3-1.

This is one of only six games this season in which the Sabres are rested and their opponent is tired. Conversely, Buffalo will be the tired team against a rested opponent 14 times. They need to take advantage of the situation.

“We need to be aware of our start,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said after the morning skate in Wells Fargo Center. “We need to be aware of how we come out, especially playing a team that’s played a number of games more than us and played last night in Montreal, traveled last night as we sat here. I think it’s a real big factor in the game tonight how we come out and play.”

Here are five more things to know about the game:

1. Dmitry Kulikov will get a chance to show why the Sabres acquired him.

Kulikov will get more minutes as Zach Bogosian’s partner (replacing Jake McCabe) and will get power-play work. He missed most of the preseason and the opening game with a butt bruise after getting checked into an open door on the bench.

“So far in three games, I feel pretty comfortable and feel good about my game,” Kulikov said. “We’ve been breaking out of our zone successfully. We didn’t get stuck in our zone for very long times. The chances I think we allowed were mostly off the rush.

“Playing against top lines, you know they’re going to get chances. You just have to limit their chances.”

The Sabres’ power-play units with Kulikov joining them:

Kyle Okposo-Sam Reinhart-Matt Moulson, with Rasmus Ristolainen and Ryan O’Reilly; and Tyler Ennis-Derek Grant-Brian Gionta, with Cody Franson and Kulikov.

2. Philadelphia is getting meaner.

Defenseman Radko Gudas, who was suspended six games for a preseason head shot, is eligible to return and will play. Gudas concussed Daniel Catenacci last season when the Sabres visited Philly.

“Was that the only hit we saw from him?” a stern-faced Bylsma said. “We’ve made note.”

3. It’s a battle of backup goalies.

Anders Nilsson will get his first start in goal for the Sabres. Robin Lehner did not make the trip due to illness.

“I’ve been waiting for the opportunity, so hopefully I can help the team get two points tonight,” Nilsson said.

Philadelphia is expected to counter with former Buffalo netminder Michal Neuvirth. He is 1-0 with a .854 save percentage and 4.24 goals-against average in two appearances.

4. The Sabres are testing their new lineup.

The morning skate featured the forward lines and defense pairs that Bylsma created Sunday. They are:

Moulson-O’Reilly-Okposo
Ennis-Reinhart-Zemgus Girgensons
Marcus Foligno-Johan Larsson-Gionta
Nicolas Deslauriers-Derek Grant-Hudson Fasching

Josh Gorges-Ristolainen
Kulikov-Bogosian
McCabe-Franson

5. It’s a national television game.

The matchup will start at 7:30 p.m. on NBCSN. The radio broadcast on WGR-AM 550 will feature play-by-play man Dan Dunleavy and analyst Rob Ray.

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