The Buffalo Sabres wrap up the preseason tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers, 6 p.m. at HSBC Arena. This is the second match-up between the two teams in three days.
Philadelphia claimed a 3-1 win on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center as Nikolay Zherdev and James van Riemsdyk scored power-play goals in the second period to seal the win.
Blair Betts added an empty-netter for the Flyers with 38 seconds left and Brian Boucher stopped 32 shots. Derek Roy scored on a 2-on-1 at 17 seconds of the third period for the Sabres.
Buffalo and Philadelphia have met in 24 pre-season games all-time; Buffalo is 6-14-4 in these games… The Sabres are 2-5-2 at home; 2-7-1 in Philadelphia… The teams have met in five neutral site games, with Buffalo going 2-2-1… After meeting twice during every pre-season from 1971-1980, the Sabres and Flyers haven’t seen each other in the pre-seasonsince 1986, when they split a pair of games in Rochester, NY and Hershey, PA… The first time these two teams met in the pre-season was on Sept. 18, 1971, when they skated to a 2-2 tie in St. Catharines, ON… The first regular season match-up between Buffalo and Philadelphia is on Tues., Oct. 26 in Philadelphia.
Expect a more unified lineup in the final stretch of preseason games. Ruff said he hopes to begin sorting out pairings as training comes.
“We’ll try to put some lines together and try to really be consistent with that in these last three games, a little like we did last year,” he said. “We’re going to keep enough players around so we don’t put too much on one player or line or defense pair.”
GOALIES: Jhonas Enroth, Ryan Miller
INJURIES: Captain Craig Rivet participated in the morning skate but will not play in tonight's match-up. The defenseman has been unable to play since suffering a throat contusion on September 24.
“Craig is doing pretty good. He’s skating on his own. He should be able to skate with the team by [Friday] probably,” Ruff said.
NOTES: The Sabres are 136-147-48 all-time in the preseason… Buffalo is 23-11-2 in preseason action since the start of the 2005-06 season.
From NHL.com: "After coming two victories short of earning their first Stanley Cup in 34 seasons, are the Philadelphia Flyers primed to seal the deal in 2010-11?
"The Flyers took their fans on an emotional roller-coaster ride in 2009-10. A coaching change, countless injuries, rumors of dressing-room turmoil and even a five-man goalie carousel couldn't derail the Flyers' remarkable postseason run. They became the third team in League history to overcome a 3-0 playoff series deficit against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, but fell short of becoming the third team ever to rally from a 2-0 hole in a Cup Final.
"There were franchise record-setting playoff performances by rookie Ville Leino and Danny Briere (League-high 30 playoff points), and Mike Richards silenced critics who questioned his leadership with an inspiring postseason performance, scoring 7 goals and 23 points in 23 games."
2009-10 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS LEADING SCORERS
2009-10 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS LEADING GOALTENDERS
According to NHL.com, "While the loss of Simon Gagne hurts, General Manager Paul Holmgren hopes offseason acquisition Nikolai Zherdev will pick up some of the slack.
Jody Shelley, who has 1,347 penalty minutes in 538 NHL games, enters his 10th season in the League and first as a Flyer, while the addition of Andrei Meszaros gives Coach Laviolette the luxury of four established puck-movers, including Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen and Matt Carle. It also will help cut back the ice time Pronger and Timonen saw last season. Pronger, 35, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in August, led the League in ice time (29:03 per game) during the playoffs, while Timonen, 35, was sixth (26:37).
It remains to be seen whether Pronger will be ready for the season opener, against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 7 at Consol Energy Center. There's no question the trade for Pronger at the 2009 Entry Draft proved to be golden for Holmgren, as the veteran was a big reason the Flyers were so confident on the back end in the postseason. During the playoffs, the Flyers yielded a League-low 2.65 goals per game and allowed just 29.2 shot per game, third-fewest among teams that played at least 10 playoff games."