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SABRES-FLYERS: GAME 1 MORNING SKATE UPDATE

Thursday, 04.14.2011 / 2:15 PM
By Rob Crean - Public Relations Director / BEYOND THE BOARDS
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BEYOND THE BOARDS
SABRES-FLYERS: GAME 1 MORNING SKATE UPDATE

With the Sabres set to begin their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, Buffalo Head Coach Lindy Ruff finds himself in a comfortable position.  The longest-tenured coach in the National Hockey League begins a playoff series on the road for the 11th time in his career. In eight of those first 10 series, Ruff’s Sabres have won Game 1. 

Getty Images
Lindy Ruff Pregame
This will also be the fifth time that Ruff will face the Flyers in the postseason, so he is well aware of how passionate both teams’ fan bases are, and he is excited to renew the rivalry.

“The fans here are as great as our fans. That’s what’s great about this series, what’s great about this time of year.  It’s fun.  There’s going to be something to talk about when this series ends.  You’ve got passionate fans on their end, you’ve got passionate fans on our end.  It should be one helluva series,” Ruff said this morning.

Ruff did not provide any news regarding his lineup during his media availability, but there was an update on the Flyers’ side.  Following Philadelphia’s morning skate, the team posted on its official Website the following statement regarding All-Star defenseman Chris Pronger:

“Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced that Chris Pronger will be unavailable for tonight's Game 1 vs. Buffalo. He continues to be day-to-day with his hand injury.”

Flyers rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start in net tonight, and Ruff talked about the simple approach his team will take in facing the 22-year-old. 

“We’re just going to try to shoot where he’s not,” Ruff said.  “You need traffic, you need to take advantage of good situations, but we don’t approach it any differently.  We know that he’s had some real good stretches this year, that he’s a good goaltender, and we’ve got to make sure that when we have opportunities that are Grade A opportunities, that we put them away.”

The Flyers enter the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, but Head Coach Peter Laviolette said that the teams’ seeds are irrelevant heading into the series.

“I don’t think that seeds have anything to do with it.  It’s going to come down to a Buffalo Sabres team and a Philadelphia Flyers team, and they’ll go at it for a series here, and the one that has some good energy, some good execution, some bounces, some good goaltending, good specialty teams, that’s probably the one that will move on,” Laviolette said.

While Philadelphia is the higher seed, Buffalo was the hotter team down the stretch, going 16-4-4 in its final 24 games and 8-1-1 in its last 10.  According to Ruff, the Sabres will need to step it up even more.

“You would hope that the way you played, you’d be able to continue playing that way,” Ruff said.  “I already told the team, we have to find another gear now.  The playoffs are a bigger ball game.  You know that they’re going to step it up; we need to step it up, too.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82