NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, April 8th
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (53-21-7) at Philadelphia Flyers (21-48-12), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres will close out the best regular season
in franchise history this afternoon, when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers
at the Wachovia Center.
Buffalo had already wrapped up the Northeast Division title and the top seed
in the Eastern Conference playoffs before Saturday's win over the Washington
Capitals, but that most-recent triumph allowed the Sabres to also clinch the
Presidents' Trophy for the first time in club history.
The Sabres have won a franchise-record 53 games this year and are tied for the
team mark with 113 points. A single point in today's contest will break that
record, which was first achieved during the 1974-75 campaign -- a season that
ended with the club's first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.
On Saturday, Ryan Miller made 26 saves for his second shutout of the season
and the Sabres skated to the 2-0 victory over the Washington Capitals at the
Miller turned aside seven shots in each of the first two periods and stopped
12 shots in the third to complete his third career shutout. He also became the
first Buffalo goaltender to reach 40 wins in a season.
Derek Roy and Tim Connolly scored first-period goals for Buffalo, which has
won three straight and five of its last six contests.
While the Sabres are capping off the franchise's best regular season, the
Flyers are eager to end the worst season in the history of the club.
Philadelphia is assured of finishing dead last in the NHL for the first time
ever and with 54 points secured its lowest point total in club annals, falling
below the 58 points gained in 1969-70.
The Flyers were handed a 4-2 setback by the visiting New York Islanders on
Saturday. Wade Dubielewicz stopped 28 shots to help the Isles keep their
playoff hopes alive.
Simon Gagne and Mike Richards scored for the Flyers, who have lost five in row
and nine of 10. Antero Niittymaki stopped 28 shots in the setback.
Martin Biron is expected to be back in net for Philadelphia today, as he faces
his former club for the first time since getting dealt just before the trade
deadline. Biron, who is 5-8-2 since joining the Flyers, has emerged as the
team's No. 1 goaltender and signed a two-year extension to stay in
Buffalo is 3-0 against the Flyers this year and has taken six of the last
seven meetings. The Sabres have also tasted victory in three straight and five
of their last nine trips to the City of Brotherly Love.
04/08 10:57:46 ET