PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 14: Ryan Miller #30 of the Buffalo Sabres plays the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 14, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Sabres defeated the Flyers 1-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Sabres Vs. Flyers, Game 1: Ryan Miller Makes 35 Saves In 1-0 Shutout Against Philadelphia

Ryan Miller made 35 saves in a 1-0 shutout of the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night in Game 1 of their playoff series.

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Sabres Vs. Flyers: Failed Power Play Attempts Cost Philly In Game 1

Let's quickly go over Thursday night's Game 1 between the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers. Buffalo won the game, 1-0, and now holds a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.

One team took 36 shot attempts, including 25 on net, four that were blocked and seven that were blocked. The other team took a whopping 74 attempts towards the net, including 35 that were on net, 16 that were blocked and 23 that missed. If you looked at those numbers on a typical night, you'd assume that the second team was the one that came out on top.

Ah, not the case. The Flyers essentially dominated from start to finish, but a failure to capitalize on the power play and a big rebound that found the stick of Patrick Kaleta in the second period ultimately costed the East's No. 2 seed the game and home-ice advantage in the series.

We mentioned that power play failure, and the turning point of the game really felt like it came after the Sabres killed a 5-on-3 chance in the third period. Flyers defenseman Matt Carle agreed.

"Any time you get the opportunity to have a 5-on-3, I think you need to score," Carle said. "It's one of those things where it's a momentum killer. The other team picks up momentum as well if they kill it off, so that was a big turning point I think."

The Flyers will certainly have to improve on the power play if they want to beat the Sabres and the fantastic play of goaltender Ryan Miller.

For more on this series, check SBNation.com's continuing coverage of the series, as well as coverage from our blogs: Broad Street Hockey in Philadelphia and Die By The Blade in Buffalo.

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Sabres Vs. Flyers, Game 1: Ryan Miller Makes 35 Saves As Buffalo Defeats Philadelphia 1-0

Ryan Miller was the hero of the game for the Buffalo Sabres as he made 35 saves in a 1-0 shutout over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. 

Buffalo's only goal came from Patrick Kaleta who scored on a rebound from a Marc-Andre Gragnani shot from just inside the blue line. Sergei Bobrovsky made the initial save but left the rebound in front while Kaleta crashed the crease. 

The Flyers dominated play for much of the first two periods, and the Sabres gave them plenty of offensive opportunities with a total of five powerplays. The Flyers just could not capitalize on the man advantage as the Sabres kept much of the play to the outside and gave Ryan Miller clean looks at the puck. Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky faced a total of 25 shots and made 24 saves in the losing effort. 

The Sabres and Flyers will face off again in Game 2 on Saturday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. For more information on this game, please visit our Flyers site, Broad Street Hockey, and our Sabres site, Die By The Blade

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Sabres Vs. Flyers, Game 1: Philly Still In Control, But Ryan Miller Keeps It Scoreless Through Two

You'd think that with all the talent they employ in terms of offense, the Philadelphia Flyers would have a pretty deadly power play. That's just simply not the case. The unit has struggled all season long, and clearly, that's carried over into the 2011 NHL playoffs.

Despite three power play attempts, plus 38 seconds worth of 5-on-3 time in the game, the Flyers have been unable to capitalize against Ryan Miller and the Sabres penalty killers. As a result, this game one between the teams is still tied at 0-0 after 40 minutes.

The Flyers have controlled things for most of the contest thus far, and according to Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia, they hold a 15-5 edge in scoring chances through two periods. But in the last 10 or so minutes of the second, after killing the 5-on-3 chance, Buffalo turned up the intensity a bit and sustained pressure in the Flyers end for the first time on the night.

It'll be interesting to see if they can carry that over into the third period. If they can, they might squeak out of Game 1 with a series lead and home-ice advantage in the series, despite getting thoroughly outplayed for the majority of the evening.  

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Sabres Vs. Flyers, Game 1: Philadelphia Dominates First Period, But Buffalo Gets Out Alive

The Philadelphia Flyers certainly backed into the postseason, finishing up the regular season campaign with a weak two months and just enough points to fall out of the East's No. 1 seed. As a result, they're facing the Buffalo Sabres in this Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, a team that was on a completely opposite tear to end the season.

Fans in Philadelphia have been sitting on their hands over the course of that poor stretch, hoping and praying that their team would snap out of it when the games became meaningful again. It's only been one period in Game 1 of the first round, but if it's any indication, the Flyers are out of the funk. 

Shots are even at 10-10 after 20 minutes and there's no score, but that's not a good barometer of how the Flyers are controlling play. They're getting the cycle game going, hitting anything that moves and controlling the puck deep in the Buffalo zone. The Sabres, meanwhile, only got one or two cracks at Sergei Bobrovsky from a quality scoring position.

The Flyers defensemen, namely Kimmo Timonen, are going a good job of keeping Buffalo to the outside, limiting the amount of strong pucks that their rookie goaltender sees. Don't expect Buffalo to go down easily. They've been a resilient team all season long, and you'd expect them to come out guns blazing in the second period. 

For now, though, it's the home team imposing its will on their opposition. 

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Sabres Vs. Flyers, Game 1: Philly Hopes To Keep Upset-Ready Buffalo In Check Without Chris Pronger

Chris Pronger is a vital piece of the Philadelphia Flyers puzzle, and it's no secret that they've struggled without him in the lineup this season. He's a vital part of just about every aspect of the game, from the transition in the neutral zone, to the defensive zone (obviously) to the power play to the let's-get-going-boys stuff on the bench and in the locker room.

For the Buffalo Sabres, in Philadelphia tonight for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Pronger's absence certainly has to feel like a blessing. They'll look to exploit the Flyers third defensive pairing, consisting of battered veteran Sean O'Donnell and AAAA-level defenseman Danny Syvret

Buffalo is without Derek Roy, but the offense has picked up in his absence. They'll look to use two scoring lines -- the top unit of Jason Pominville, Tim Connolly and Thomas Vanek, plus the second unit of Tyler Ennis, Brad Boyes and Drew Stafford -- to roll at the Flyers strong defense during even strength.

The Flyers counter with three scoring lines, but the focus will be on shutting down that second unit. If they can limit the Sabres attack to just one line, they should have success. If not, they could be rushing Pronger back sooner than he's ready. 

Sergei Bobrovsky will make his Stanley Cup Playoff debut against one of the league's best goaltenders, Ryan Miller. Bob played well for Philadelphia down the stretch while Miller was injured for a good portion of the last few games, so it could be an interesting battle in nets. 

For more on this one, check SBNation.com's continuing coverage of the series, as well as coverage from our blogs: Broad Street Hockey in Philadelphia and Die By The Blade in Buffalo. We'll be covering this one live from the Wells Fargo Center in Philly tonight, so stay tuned.

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