Look Who's Back...The Orange and Black
The Flyers invade the First Niagara Center tonight for the 2nd and final time this season. The last 2 meetings between these two teams have less than ideal for the Sabres. Both games seeing Ryan Miller getting chased and luckluster starts. Game 7 of the '10 playoffs Philly won 5-1 and earlier this season the Flyers jumped to a quick 3-0 lead before the Sabres faithful could reach their seats. The Sabres made it close but still ended up losing 3-2. The First Niagara Center has not been a place the team likes to play this year. They're 5-8-1 (Helsinki doesn't count) and have not put together a single good effort at home except the Capitals game a few weekends ago, where the Caps were trying to get their coach fired. Caps succeeded in their goal and so did the Sabres. Other than that goaltending has been shaky, scoring has been nonexsistent, and inspiration has been at a minimum. The hometown team NEEDS a good start tonight to try to get things going in the right direction. Lets not forget this team sent you packing in the postseason, I know the fans sure remember. They have to build a winning streak not continous losing streaks. Teams come into the Center and expect to win, that just cannot be the case anymore. With 4 home games coming in the next 7 days, I think 3 or 4 wins is a must anything less could be a real real problem.
Injuries have been an issue for both these teams, but the Flyers will be better off tonight than the Sabres. JVR and former Sabres captain turned Sabres killer Danny Briere will be back in the lineup. Bryzgalov to my surprise is expected to be guarding the 4 x 6 cage. The Flyers will however be without captain Chris Ponger still after knee surgery. His rein seems to be nearing an end in the NHL. Also young promising prospect Bayden Schenn will be out as well. The Sabres however are not getting healthier they will be without Myers, Weber, Gaustad, McCormick, Leopold, and Kaleta. Gerbe will return tonight after his scary cut the other night and is sure to provide the team with a spark. Miller gets his second straight start in goal after a strong outing against the Preds on Saturday, he could use another good start against Philly tonight. Will tonight also be the night Stafford, Roy, Gerbe, and to a smaller extent now Leino (3 pts in 2 games) get going? Leino may want to show his former team that it indeed was a mistake to let him go, just my thought.
Regher-Grags/Mcnabb (depending on how Grags starts off)
Prediction: If not now then when? Sabres come out flying tonight W 4-2.