On Thursday night in Game 1, Ryan Miller and the Buffalo defense completely shut down a potent Philadelphia Flyers attack, ultimately winning a close-to-the-vest 1-0 squeaker on a Patrick Kaleta goal in the third period.
As we prepare for Saturday's Game 2 between the clubs at Wells Fargo Center, it might be a little tough for the Sabres to have the same type of defensive success. Defenseman Shoane Morissonn suffered a concussion in Game 1 and he'll be out of the lineup on Saturday. In his place, it looks like emergency call up Dennis Persson will take a few shifts.
For the most part, though, the Sabres defense will likely be down to five men, as it's not likely that Persson sees a lot of ice time. While beating Miller is never a tough task, it's much easier to break down the defense in front of him when they're short. This is the group that blocked 23 shots and clogged the middle of the ice successfully against Philly on Thursday.
Chris Pronger is still out of the lineup for the Flyers, but defensively they've been fine in his absence. The struggles come on the power play and in the transition game, and without Pronger, the Flyers are much easier to stop in that regard. With defensive struggles possible today, the Sabres will need to be better at tying things up in the neutral zone.
We'll be keeping you posted on this one from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. For more, visit our blogs: Broad Street Hockey for Flyers coverage, Die By The Blade on the Sabres. You can find full SBNation.com coverage here.