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Gameday: Homestand continues versus Sabres

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Buffalo Sabres (33-26-7, 73 points) #4 Philadelphia Flyers (35-19-10, 80 pts)
Wachovia Center - 7:00 PM EST - Philadelphia, PA
TV: Versus HD
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 206
This is the open game thread.
Behind Enemy Lines: Die By The Blade
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Tonight, we revisit a tale of two teams looking for their identities. We have the home team, the Philadelphia Flyers, who have alternated wins and losses in every game on the schedule this month. They've won big, like Saturday's 4-1 effort against Nashville, and they've lost big, like Thursday's 5-1 drubbing by Calgary. They've had great goaltending, terrible goaltending, potent offense, and stagnant offense. We're not really sure who these Flyers are right now, besides the fact they're showing symptoms of bi-polar disease.

The Sabres are experiencing a bit of the same, although the reasons for their struggles are a bit easier to pick out. They've won big over Phoenix and Montreal, but they've also lost to lowly Ottawa and the Islanders in their last five. Since losing goaltender Ryan Miller to an ankle injury, they've fallen out of playoff position and now sit just three points out of the final playoff spot.

Tonight, the teams faceoff for the third time this season, the second in a row at Wachovia Center. It should be interesting to see which teams show up.

Between the Pipes: One thing is for sure in this matchup though: the Flyers have the upper hand. Martin Biron has been red hot against Buffalo, his former team, this season. He's played both games, with his most recent performance a 38 save effort on February 19. And that was the worse of the two. He made 40 saves to get the shutout in Buffalo back in November. Marty has been on lately as well, going 5-2-0 with a 2.09 GAA since Valentines Day.

With Miller out, Patrick Lalime is filling in. He'll likely start his seventh straight game tonight for the Sabres. Lalime has not seen the Flyers since 2004, when he was a member of the Ottawa Senators. If you remember correctly, he saw that night end after Robert Esche's fist collided with his face a few times (okay, so not really, but they did fight) during that ridiculous melee in a 5-2 Flyer win.

Injury Report: Mike Richards didn't practice yesterday but skated today and will play. Danny Briere is looking to return on Thursday night against Washington, but will not take the ice tonight. Thomas Vanek is in the lineup for Buffalo but coach Lindy Ruff does not believe he is 100 percent. He's still getting top ice time, though.


Buffalo Sabres Injuries

Probable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Maxim Afinogenov neck 03/10/2009

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ryan Miller ankle 02/22/2009

Questions To Answer

  1. So, uh, that Carcillo-Giroux-Asham line actually lasted the whole game on Saturday. What's the encore like?
  2. Does Biron continue his magic against his old team?
  3. Which Sabres team shows up tonight?
  4. Which Flyers team shows up tonight?

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