Montour makes his Sabres debut in Philadelphia

The Sabres and Flyers have split the season series so far

Paul Hamilton
February 26, 2019 - 1:20 pm

Photo: Eric Hartline - USA TODAY Sports

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Philadelphia, PA (WGR 550) - If the Sabres want to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race, they can’t afford to lose the next two games. Tuesday is in Philadelphia, while Friday is home against Pittsburgh.

The Sabres lead the Flyers by one point, but are six in back of the Penguins and Hurricanes for the final Wild Card spot. Montreal and Columbus lead the Sabres by seven points. Buffalo had a game in hand on all those team, but blew it Monday in Toronto.

Buffalo has only won one of six games, but their newest player will make his debut. Brandon Montour played 62 games with Anaheim, scoring five goals and 20 assists for 25 points. Phil Housley told Howard and Jeremy on Tuesday, “I’m really excited to work with this young man.

“Just coaching against him in the Western Conference Final when I was with Nashville, he’s a true competitor. He plays the game the way we want to play, which is fast. He’s got great escapability, a great passing ability. He’s got very high-end skill, and he’s got a heavy shot, so I’m looking forward to what he is going to bring to our team.” 

Housley said Montour isn’t just an offensive defenseman. He said the kid has worked on his overall game, “I can only speak on when I coached against him in Nashville. I just really liked the way he attacked the game. He also brings a physical element. Obviously, we added another piece to a really good core of young players, and I would include Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, to name a few, with Dahlin. We’re a very young team, and that’s part of just the whole team development. Trying to find the right pieces and Brandon is going to be a big part of our team. I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s going to bring to our team tonight against Philadelphia.”

Montour didn’t want to be traded from Anaheim, but he’s glad it was to the Sabres, “Buffalo was a team that wanted me and are excited to have me and I’m excited to be here.”

Montour is from Brantford, Ontario and he said, “It’s close to home and that’s a big thing, so I want to get started.”

Carter Hutton has started the last three games, but was pulled in Toronto after allowing three goals in the second period. None of them were really his fault and Housley said the reason he pulled him was to try to get a spark for the team.

The Sabres recalled Danny O’Regan from the Amerks. He played Saturday against Washington.

The Flyers have won four of six games and 13 out of 17. The biggest reason for that success was rookie goalie Carter Hart, but he is injured so Brian Elliott gets the call. Elliott is 7-7-0 with a 2.54 goals-against and .917 save percentage. Elliott has only been back for three games after missing 40 games due to injury.

Philadelphia traded Wayne Simmonds to Nashville on Monday, so the Sabres won’t have to deal with him. They will have to deal with Jakub Voracek, who has six goals and 15 assists for 21 points in 20 games.

In the two games in Buffalo, the Sabres hammered the Flyers 5-2 and were well on their way to doing it again just two weeks later. Buffalo sprinted out to a 2-0 and two goals by Jack Eichel and was playing very well, but all of a sudden the roof fell in and Philadelphia scored six unanswered goals for the win.

The Flyers were reeling badly at the time and there was just no excuse for that collapse.

Some other games of interest for the Sabres on Tuesday include Los Angeles at Carolina, Pittsburgh at Columbus and Montreal at Detroit.

Join Schopp and the Bulldog at 6:00 for the pre-game when they’ll be joined by Phil Housley, Scott Wilson and Marco Scandella.

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