Monday, February 25, 2008

Sabres/Flyers Preview

The Sabres blew a big game on Saturday against the Rangers and have a big game against the Flyers tonight. The Flyers have been struggling as of late, being winless in the last 10 games going 0-8-2. The Flyers seem to be struggling on all fronts, offense, defense, and goaltending. The Flyers are currently in the 9th spot, 1 point behind the 8th place Sabres. During this streak, the Flyers fans have mainly taken out their frustration on their new $6 million man, Daniel Briere. He has been booed during the last couple of home games and he gets to experience the same tonight since the game is in Buffalo. The main problem with Briere is that he is a -23 so far this season, which is good enough for 2nd worst in the league. Martin Biron, who we traded at the trade deadline last season, is also starting to struggle this season. After starting off hot, he has cooled off in his last couple of starts losing 6 of his last 7. He also has been replaced by Antero Nittimaki as the starting goaltender.

Heading to the injury lists for both teams, the Sabres got good news while the Flyers' news kept getting worse. Returning for the Sabres possibly could be Hecht who sat out of Saturday's game due to a sore leg muscle. Also good news coming from the Sabres camp could be the eminent return of Maxim Afinogenov. It is not sure when he will come back but it seems that he is getting better. For the Flyers, they lose the services of Mike Richards, who torn his left hamstring on Saturday against the Florida Panthers. He will be out for three weeks. Adding to that list is Simon Gagne, Darien Hatcher, and Joffery Lupul. Since being decimated by injuries, the Flyers added Jim Vandermeer from the Calgary Flames.

Here are the stats for the game:

Buffalo Sabres Stats
Goals: Vanek (26)
Assists: Pominville and Campbell (38)
Points: Pominville (55)
Plus/Minus: Roy and Paille (+10)
Penalty Minutes: Peters (75)
Majors: Peters (9)
Minors: Lydman (29)

Philadelphia Flyers Stats
Goals: Richards (23)
Assists: Richards (43)
Points: Richards (66)
Plus/Minus: Richards (+14)
Penalty Minutes: Cote (156)
Majors: Cote (18)
Minors: Hartnell (35)

Goalie Stats
Buffalo: Miller - 2.43 GAA, .915 SV%, 3 SO; Thibault - 3.50 GAA, .866 SV%, 1 SO
Philadelphia: Biron - 2.73 GAA, .916 SV%, 3 SO; Nittimaki - 2.74 GAA, .913 SV%, 1 SO

Special Teams
Buffalo: Power Play (19.0%, 7th); Penalty Kill (84.9%, 5th)
Philadelphia: Power Play (22.8%, 2nd); Penalty Kill (82.1%, 17th)

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