Why Vigneault didn't say a word to Flyers at 2nd intermission

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Can the Flyers get on a run in April?

One thing is for certain, they'll be happy to say so long to March.

On Wednesday night in Buffalo, New York, the Flyers (17-13-4) wrap up the month — which has been full of turbulence — when they play the Sabres (6-23-5).

Let's get into the essentials for the game:

  • When: 7:30 p.m. ET with The Warm Up at 6:30 p.m. ET and Flyers Pregame Live at 6:45 p.m. ET
  • Where: KeyBank Center
  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• It seems like all March we've been wondering if a specific moment could spark the Flyers on a run and out of their rut.

It has not happened.

Maybe the second-intermission heart-to-heart talk in the Flyers' locker room during Monday night's dramatic 4-3 come-from-behind win could serve as that moment.

We'll see.

Alain Vigneault didn't ream into his club after the second period with the Flyers down 3-0 to the hapless Sabres.

There was no incensed coach pacing back and forth, spewing out wake-up orders. There was no flipping of a table.

Vigneault sent his message by not showing up. The bench boss didn't go into the team's dressing room at KeyBank Center between the second and third periods. Vigneault could have given the Flyers an earful, but he essentially decided to say: you got into this, you find your way out of it.

"Sometimes teams and players have to figure things out," Vigneault said postgame Monday night. "There's no doubt that our guys did.

"We discussed this morning as a team how important this game was for us and the way we needed to play. We didn't come out that way for the first 35 minutes."

Vigneault made line changes and shortened his bench. The Flyers' leaders steered the comeback.

"At this time, in the situation that we're in, if we're going to move forward and get the job done, your top players have got to be your top players," Vigneault said.

What was the message between the players at second intermission?

"A few guys spoke up, Scott Laughton and Justin Braun, a few other guys," Claude Giroux said. "We have leadership from more than two, three guys. Sometimes the message is just a little louder. We were able to play probably one of our best periods of the year in the third period. Hopefully we can build on this.

"It's very frustrating right now. We need to figure it out, we need to get together as a group and get our things in order because there are not a lot of games left and we can't be shooting ourselves in the foot like that."

The victory gave the Flyers their first consecutive wins since Feb. 27-28. In March, they've been outscored 25-9 in the first period.

"I guess maybe coming for the next game, coming out, we should think that we're down 3-0," Ivan Provorov said. "Then maybe we'll have a good start."

Shayne Gostisbehere cleared waivers Wednesday and was placed on the team's taxi squad. Young forwards Oskar Lindblom and Nolan Patrick will sit tonight.

"I'm not surprised that he cleared waivers," Vigneault said in his pregame media availability Wednesday. "It permits us to have a little bit more flexibility. And one of the flexibilities that I was looking for was to have the possibility to sit out both Oskar and Patty. I feel that both of them need a break. To be able to do that, there's a limit on the 23-man roster. Because we have three goaltenders in that situation, if I took both Oskar and Patty out, and put in [Connor Bunnaman] and [Carsen Twarynski], that puts us at 14 forwards. And by putting Ghost on the taxi squad, we have six defensemen, so that's our 23-man limit.

"I really feel that both Oskar and Patty, these are different circumstances. Under normal circumstances, it would have been challenging for them. It's extremely challenging right now, the loads that I'm getting from our conditioning guys are extremely high. With what both of those young men have gone through, by sitting them out tonight — I didn't put them on the ice today, I'm not putting them on the ice tomorrow; I'm giving them almost 72 hours until Friday when they touch the ice. I think for them, mentally and physically, it's going to be beneficial. And if it's beneficial for them, then it will be beneficial for our team."

Erik Gustafsson will draw into the lineup on the back end. He has been a healthy scratch over the last three games.

• Brian Elliott is coming off consecutive wins and is 17-2-2 with a 1.74 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in his career against the Sabres. Alex Lyon will be his backup.

More: Why Flyers have good plan in place for Carter Hart, whose 'preparation is second to none'

Projected lineup

 

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek

James van Riemsdyk-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny

Michael Raffl-Scott Laughton-Joel Farabee

Carsen Twarynski-Connor Bunnaman-Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun

Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers

Samuel Morin-Erik Gustafsson

Goalies

Brian Elliott

Alex Lyon

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