The stakes are different. So are many of the faces. When the Philadelphia Flyers travel to Buffalo to meet the Sabres on Wednesday night (7:30 p.m., VERSUS HD, TSN2), surprisingly few remnants of last year's exciting, seven-game playoff series remain.
Wednesday night, the Flyers (6-4-1) twill dress only seven of the 18 players from last year's first-round matchup. One Sabres player told the Philadelphia Inquirer playing the Flyers "might as well be like facing a Western Conference team."
The Sabres (6-4-0) will be getting their first look at goalie Ilya Bryzgalov since he signed with the Flyers. Bryzgalov discussed a lack of confidence after surrendering four goals on ten shots in relief against the Winnipeg Jets last week, but rebounded Saturday with 24 saves during a 5-1 victory against Carolina.
Buffalo has struggled recently, losing three of their last four games.
"We have to wake up and do what it takes to play a system in this league," said Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who has a 3.04 goals-against average during his personal three-game skid. "You're not going to get away with making cute plays, you're not going to be able to carry the puck in ... you're not going to have that luxury. Too many mistakes, myself included. We're all accountable here."
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