Renewing playoff hate is something the Flyers and Sabres don’t mind doing and they’ll get it on againt tonight in Buffalo (7:30 p.m. ET on Versus).
When they met the last time back in early November, Ryan Miller lasted less than seven minutes giving up three goals and taking the loss, recreating an eerie replica of the Sabres’ Game 7 loss to Philly in last year’s playoffs.
This time around, Miller hopes he got the cobwebs out against Nashville on Monday in the Sabres 3-2 win to hold off the high-scoring Flyers. Claude Giroux has been Mr. Everything for Philly and is starting to draw comparisons to Sidney Crosby. Seriously, he is. Giroux is near the top of the league leaderboard for scoring and his line, when healthy, of Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr is dynamic.
The Sabres are still dealing with a handful of injury problems but things are slowly returning to normal. What the Sabres do need are a string of wins. Being losers more often than not lately, getting Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville to pour in the goals will be key against the always entertaining goaltending of Ilya Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky.
Two young stars to watch: Philly’s Matt Read and Buffalo’s Luke Adam. In a year dominated by Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Read and Adam have been beyond outstanding and could wind up being Calder finalists with the Nuge.