Any time that you’re getting the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers together for a game they way they are tonight in Buffalo (7:30 p.m. ET on Versus) expect things to be highly skilled and hotly contested. Just think back to last year’s playoff series that saw these two go seven games before ultimately seeing the Flyers come out on top.
Back then, it was Ville Leino helping beat Ryan Miller and the Sabres. Now, he’s helping out Miller and looking to get his season going against his old team and Ilya Bryzgalov. Leino’s start to the season has been bad and making the Sabres look foolish for dumping a truck full of cash on him. He won’t have any more excuses for playing poorly now as he’ll have Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville on his line tonight to jump start his game.
For Philly, after a horrid game against Winnipeg they’re back to feeling good about things and part of their mystery was getting Scott Hartnell to help produce some big points. Putting him on a line with Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr has proven to be a genius move for coach Peter Laviolette as that line has blown up with over 20 points their last four games.
Ultimately the game boils down to be a marquee goalie match-up with Miller going head-to-head with Bryzgalov. The Flyers wore out Miller ultimately in the playoffs last year and the Sabres are getting their first look at Bryzgalov in orange and black. If these two can steal tonight’s show, that’s about as good as it gets.