The Flyers are 4-2-2 in their first eight games of the season. It’s safe to say, at this point, that they managed to avoid the slow start to the season they were looking for.
But in those first two weeks, the Flyers had to pass several tests, tests that were about competing with good teams. They lost in overtime to Tampa Bay, shut out the defending champion Blackhawks and most-recently picked up a key shootout win over the Rangers on Saturday.
Starting with Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss against the Buffalo Sabres, the Flyers now get to see the opposite end of the spectrum and have two labels that they can shed with a successful two weeks.
At 4-2-1, the Flyers entered Tuesday's game with a chance to prove this wasn't last year's team. They had survived the early flurry of challenges and picked up four wins to boot, the last coming in a shootout no less.
That kind of momentum would need to be sustained.
Facing a 2-6-0 Buffalo Sabres team, you wouldn't know the Flyers had come off two of their most emotional wins of the young season. They played down to the competition once again, though the Sabres proved to be challenging, and miraculously scored in the final minute to manage one point before getting bit in the 3-on-3 overtime for the second time in eight games.
Ultimately, it left the Flyers in the same spot as last season, thinking about what might have been and about a point left on the ice.
The Flyers biggest problem last season was playing down to the competition. So when the 2-6-0 Buffalo Sabres came to town following a huge win against the New York Rangers, it seemed like it was time for the Flyers to prove they could rack up the points in the games they were supposed to win.
Only it didn't start that way, as the Flyers were out-played by the Sabres, but managed to force overtime with a late goal.
In overtime, the Flyers got caught on a chance and Zemgus Girgensons was waiting for the breakaway chance, beating Steve Mason to give the Sabres a 4-3 win on Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center.
The spectrum shifts for the Flyers as they head into their eighth game of the season. Coming off another telling win against the New York Rangers -- in a shootout, no less -- the Flyers get their first chance to correct another area that palgued them for much of last season.
The Buffalo Sabres are in town on Tuesday night and bring a 2-6-0 record with them. There are only five other NHL teams with four points or fewer in the standings to this point in the season.
After facing the likes of the Rangers, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Tampa Bay Lightning and competing in all of those games, the Flyers get their first chance to avoid a letdown against one of the NHL's lesser teams.
The opening face-off from Wells Fargo Center is set for 7 p.m.