Quarterfinals Game 2: Splits or Command

So far the NHL playoffs have been tough to predict.  After flat-lining the end of the regular season, the New York Rangers are making a case for why three point games in hockey are ridiculous, as the Washington Capitals have shut them out two games in a row in the playoffs.  I don’t think that heading back to the Garden is going to help them any – and those that predicted Washington in four are probably going to be dead on.

Speaking of backing into the playoffs, the defending Stanley Cup Champions are facing some hot water themselves.  While they were finally able to score against the Vancouver Canucks, they couldn’t do it enough times to overcome the loss.

The only series that don’t have a clear cut favorite at this point are Nashville/Anaheim and Pittsburgh/Tampa Bay where the teams have split the opening two games.

The Buffalo Sabres head into Wells Fargo on a high note tonight for a 5PM start against the Philadelphia Flyers . If Game 1 was any indication of how this series was going to play out, then the Buffalo Sabres could be in firm command of this series by 9 PM EST.  The Buffalo Sabres did not play a perfect in Game 1 – although Ryan Miller did.  Luck did have some play in the matter, but you need to have luck on your side in order to win 16 games in the second season.

The Sabres did not get a lot of shots on Sergei Bobrovsky Thursday night – and you can bet the Flyers are going to be making it even tougher for the guys in blue and gold to get pucks through to the rookie netminder.  The Sabres offense is going to have to shoot and shoot often if they want to solve the net minder.

Defensively the Sabres need to keep the game tight along the blue lines.  Keep the puck out of your end as much as possible.  If you start to let Philadelphia control the play too much, your going to run into trouble, because even though they didn’t show it Thursday, this Flyers team can score.

The injury chess match continues, as Buffalo Sabres defensemen are starting to drop, and Chris Pronger remains day to day.  I think even if he comes back this series he is not going to be as effective as if he were 100% – and a Sabres win tonight could put a little pressure on the Flyers blue liner to step back into the lineup.

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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres Montreal Canadiens Nashville Predators Philadelphia Flyers Pittsburgh Penguins Ryan Miller Sergei Bobrovsky Tampa Bay Lightning

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