After a disappointing season, the Sabres are back and ready to begin the 2013 season as they host Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon at the First Niagara Center.
The Sabres failed to defeat Philadelphia last season, dropping all four contests by a combined score of 17-9. The Flyers were the only Eastern Conference team that Buffalo did not earn a win against last year, earning one out of a possible eight points.
Sunday marks the beginning of a new season for Buffalo, and the Sabres will have a tough task at hand with Philadelphia for the home opener. However, the Flyers will be without Danny Briere, who is still recovering from a wrist injury.
The Flyers played their first game of the year on Saturday, and are coming off of a 3-1 loss against Pittsburgh.
Sunday’s game marks the first of three between these two teams this season.
Philadelphia have a big threat in captain Claude Giroux, and the Sabres know what he is capable of. In four games against Buffalo last season, Giroux recorded 11 points (1 G, 10 A) and a plus 8 rating.
As for the Sabres, they will be without forwards Nathan Gerbe, Cody McCormick and possibly Ville Leino, but they do have newcomer Steve Ott in the lineup, who could play an important role in a physical game.
Buffalo also have rookie Mikhail Grigorenko, who will be making his NHL debut. The 2012 first round pick only has the first two weeks to prove that he has what it takes to play at the NHL level. The Sabres will then have to decide whether or not to keep him up for the rest of the season.
Puck drop is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on NBC.
-The Sabres are 23-14-4 in season opening games overall (16-6-4 at home), and have played the Flyers once before to open the season, which resulted in a 2-0 loss in Philadelphia on October 9th, 2003.
-In 26 career games against the Flyers, Pominville has 24 points (11 G, 13 A).