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A rare lead would help Sabres in Game Four

The Buffalo Sabres aren't only trailing the Flyers in the series, they've been trailing them in the games. The Sabres have held the lead for just 14:48 during the first three outings, with Game Four tonight. Obviously, a lead would be nice.

"What’s going to be important for us is getting the first goal," Sabres defenseman Chris Butler said. "We’ve given up the first goal the last couple of games and allowed them to take some momentum early. It’s something to focus on in Game Four."

Coach Lindy Ruff said following this morning's optional skate that a lead will bring better-quality chances. The Flyers would be forced to take chances, which would open opportunities for Buffalo. Ruff is wary of Philly's counterattack, and the Flyers have been impressive while in front in both limiting Buffalo's chances and creating their own.

"We’ve just got to come out harder, initiate and try to go get the first one," defenseman Mike Weber said. "We’ve been playing extremely well with the lead the past three months. If we go out there, play hard and try to get the first one, I think we’ll be all right."

The Sabres will be without defenseman Andrej Sekera but will get right wing Patrick Kaleta back after he left Game Three with an upper-body injury. Mark Mancari will again be scratched, with Ruff saying while he liked the offense that Mancari, Paul Gaustad and Nathan Gerbe brought during their time together, the line gave up too many chances to be used.

To hear Ruff chat about Tyler Myers' need for patience, the penalty-killing of both teams, Ryan Miller's game and Danny Briere's playoff success, click the audio below.

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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