Philadelphia Flyers (2012-13: 0-1-0)
Buffalo Sabres (2011-12: 39-32-11--89pts - 9th in Eastern Conference)
1. QUICK TURNAROUND
While the Sabres will be opening their season today, the Flyers will be playing their second game in less than a 24-hour span… Today is the second consecutive game on NBC for the Flyers and second in a stretch of their first seven games in an 11-day span… Last season the Flyers had 13 back-to-back games, going 5-6-2 in the second game, with six of those games being decided by one goal… Flyers have 10 back-to-backs in the shortened 48-game season.
2. FLYERS DOMINATION
The Flyers swept the season series last year against the Sabres, going 4-0-0, and outscoring them 17 to 9 in the process… However, both games played in Buffalo were decided by one goal… The Flyers are 6-1-1 over the last two seasons against Buffalo, which has also included a dramatic seven-game series victory in the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals… The Flyers are 77-56-20-5 all-time against the Sabres and are 31-36-8-2 all-time in Buffalo.
3. THIS & THAT
This is the second time in the Sabres 42 seasons of play in the NHL that they have opened the season against the Flyers… The Flyers won the only other meeting - a 2-0 win on Oct. 9, 2003… Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov started all four games against the Sabres last season, and won all four games, posting a 2.23 GAA and .918 save percentage… Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller has started the team's last seven season-opening games, posting a record of 5-1-1… Max Talbot scored three goals in four games against Buffalo last season… The Flyers play six of their next seven games on the road.
4. Player to watch FLYERS: Claude Giroux
Giroux owns an impressive stat sheet against the Sabers… Last season he posted 11 points (1g-10a) in just four games, including the overtime game-winning-goal at Buffalo on Dec. 11… Lifetime, Giroux has 18 points (2g-16a) in 15 games against Buffalo… He also tallied the Flyers lone goal in yesterday's loss to Pittsburgh.
5. Player to watch SABRES: Jason Pominville
The Sabres captain led the team in scoring last season in goals (30), assists (43) and points (73)… He leads all Sabres with 24 points (11g-13a) in 26 career games against the Flyers, including seven (3g-4a) in his last six… Last season, Pominville registered at least one point in 32 of 41 home games and the Sabres went 17-8-1 when their captain scored a goal.
"The last 40 minutes we were playing Flyers hockey. We were hitting, we were skating, we were supporting each other. I don’t think we took a penalty in the second or third, not that I can remember. Except for the last one. But I think if we focus on the last 40 minutes and the way that we played together, we’ll build on that and have a good effort tomorrow.” - Scott Hartnell