PHILADELPHIA -- It's that time of year. Sunshine. Tailgaters. Crazy fans. Sabres-Flyers Game One. Frankly, I don't have much to say from a hockey angle that hasn't already been said the last four days.
One item to note: Be sure to give a look and a like to our new Sabres Edge Facebook page.
As for food, John Vogl and I get plenty of inquiries over the course of the season about road trips. So I raise my stick to last night's fare at Tony Luke's Beer and Beef Bar, and to today's choice, the Philadelphia institution of Chickie's and Pete's featuring tremendous crabfries. I was all over the chicken cutlet parm while Vogl gives the thumbs-up to the cheesesteak topped with lobster.
If you missed our live chat, be sure to go back on the blog for the archive. And be sure to join us each game night for 30 minutes prior to the game.
Finally. Too much talking going on and not enough hockey to gab about. Game on.
Sabres starters: Gerbe-Gaustad-Kaleta-Myers-Butler. Goal: Miller
Flyers starters: Van Riemsdyk-Carter-Giroux-O'Donnell-Meszaros. Goal: Bobrovsky
The anthem: The Flyers pulled out the Lauren Hart-Kate Smith "God Bless America" duo live and on the jumbtron, circa 1974. The place is deafening.
Of note: The Sabres have been credited for 11 blocked shots, the Flyers with just three. Philly leads in hits, 31-26, and faceoffs, 20-19 (good job by Sabres there). Timmonen has five shots on goal. Carter and Stafford have four.
14:04 left: I'm playing desperate blogging with terrible internet but the Sabres take a 1-0 lead on a goal by Kaleta. Point shot from Gragnani and stuffs home the rebound. Great crossice pass from Gauatad too.
13:08 left: Earlier in the period, Morrisonn took a hard hit in the corner from Coburn and went to the locker room.
11:16 left: Miller makes his 30th save of the night. Routine shot there.
9:51 left: Flyers unhappy with Myers for firing just after the whistle on an offside. You have to like how he pushed two Flyers away too. Crowd back in it when they roll the "Rocky" music here with the noise meter on the jumbotron.
8:57 left: Myers goes for tripping as Leino gets inside him. Hold on to your hats.
6:55 left: Super job. No shots. Crowd booing vociferously. Like they did to Santa Claus at the Eagles game back in the day. Or maybe to Mike Schmidt.
2:30 left: Timeout, Lindy after an icing with faceoff coming in Sabres zone. Shots are 32-25 for Flyers.
1:23 left: Unscreened save on Briere. No. 33.
O-VER: 1-0 win. 1-0 lead in the series.
8:35 p.m: The puck is dropped
16:41 left: More Internet problems here. Keeps dropping off. Great play by Syvret to get back on Gaustad, who nearly had a breakaway.
14:17 left: Good glove grab by Bobrovsky on a Gerbe slapper. Shots are 13-12 for Buffalo.
13:56 left: The Sabres have nine blocks so far, the Flyers just two. They've also been charged with fivegiveaways to just one for Philly.
11:40 left: Montador for tripping, a few seconds after van Riemsdyk failed to convert a 2-on-1 pass from Giroux. Montador, who was Buffalo's best defenseman in the first half, has been so brutal lately that it's hard to imagine the Sabres re-sign him now.
10:18 left: Slashing call on Morrisonn, who was engaged with Richards for several seconds. A 5-on-3 for 38 seconds.
9:24 left: Miller strong with three saves on point shots. No rebounds. Defense has cleared the lanes and he's had perfect views.
8:09 left: Sabres survive. But now shots are 22-14 for the Flyers.
2:56 left: Back after another Internet outage. Shots 24-19. Very, very tense in the building as you can imagine. Sabres have gotten almost nothing inside in this game. Few good chances. Flyers with far more close calls on Miller.
End-2nd: Still zip-zip. Shots are 26-19 for Philly through two, 16-9 in that period. Miller with two solid saves on Carter in the last minute. Like the work of the Gaustad line and Grier in this game. Briere has been tough too. He had a game-high four hits in the first period
7:40 p.m.: The puck is dropped. Series on.
16:43 left: Sabres holding on against the early momentum of the Flyers and the crowd. Buffalo has a 2-1 edge in shots with Gaustad's wraparound stopped and our first scrum developing. Of course, Kaleta was in there.
15:59 left: Weber and Richards go for roughing after a scrum that included a good forearm by Miller to Richards too.
14:50 left: Van Riemsdyk leaks one through Miller but it dribbles off the post. Terrible giveaway in the zone by Montador. Can't have those at all.
13:26 left: MCcormick goes for interference. First power play of the series. Shots are 3-3 but momentum is an issue for the Sabres right now. The Flyers have some. They can get a lot more if they convert.
11:50 left: Sabres have a 6-4 edge on faceoffs so far. Key. Flyers had a 15-3 edge in the first period last Friday.
11:00 left: No shots on the Philly power play, which ended the season on a 3-for-22 slide.
8:55 left: Tight, tight hockey. Shots are 4-4. You have to like how the Sabres have held off the early surge you would expect from a home team in Game One.
7:07 left: Shots are 5-5. Sabres have won eight of 12 faceoffs. Flyers have 15 hits to 10. Tough, tough play out there. Not much room.
6:13 left: Hartnell limps off to Flyers bench (right leg).
5:15 left: Ennis and Stafford get a steal and nearly turn it into a goal but Weber's foolish back pass ends that chance. Matt Carle with an horrendous Montador-like giveaway.
4:57 left: Bobrovsky stops a Vanek tip at the goalmouth. Great Connolly pass. Shots are 8-7 for Buffalo.
4:47 left: Sabres to the power play as Versteeg goes for interference.
2:45 left: One shot on goal. Neither team has been very good on the PP.
2:10 left: Miller's best save came right in front of Syvret after another giveaway by Montador, who has been terrible.
1:21 left: And now Montador is going after foolishly hauling down Briere along the boards.
End-1st: No score and shots are 10-10. Flyers had huge pressure but Gaustad, playing without a stick, made a key block to get the Sabres out of the period.