Game 26: Flyers Up in Buffalo to Meet Mr. Miller

Game 26: Flyers Up in Buffalo to Meet Mr. Miller

Having now been to Buffalo once, for several hours of the football equivalent of getting pushed down a flight of stairs, I can safely say I won't be back there anytime soon, and likely never again by choice. We had a great time at Niagara Falls for a few hours and spent the majority of the weekend in Toronto (very cool), coming into Buffalo just for the Eagles-Bills game before flying out 2 hours later. The only two landmarks we visited were Ralph Wilson Stadium and the airport.

Tonight, the Flyers are doing presumably the other fun thing to do up there—going to a Sabres game. They'll have familiar face Ville Leino, who continues to be the Jayson Werth of hockey, notching just a pair of goals and seven assists after signing a big multiyear deal during the free agency frenzy this past summer. Leino may not be pulling his weight just yet, but the Sabres aren't without firepower, and they're hanging the middle of a very competitive Northeast Division. Just seven points separate first place Boston from last place Montreal, the latter being aided by 6 OTLs.

Thomas Vanek is once again the Sabres' leading goal scorer, netting 12 so far. He's tied with Jason Pominville for the team lead in points with 27.

Goalies
Ilya Bryzgalov will face Ryan Miller in goal, which is interesting for two reasons. One, it's likely that the Flyers will try to be all up in Miller's crease, if not closer, as part of their game plan. We know he's particularly sensitive to this from previous meetings with the Flyers, but a pair of high-profile crease runnings have recently made news with the Buffalo netminder on the receiving end. In his first game back after missing eight games due to a collision with Milan Lucic, Miller was slammed by Jordin Tootoo of the Predators on Saturday. Tootoo was suspended. (Guess how many games!)

Miller was chased from the net in the teams' previous meeting this season. Are the Flyers in his head, or will he show some of what gained him accolades as one of the best in the game?

The other reason the goaltending matchup is interesting is that the Flyers play a big game with the Penguins at home tomorrow. Does Lavvy already have a plan as to which goalie will go tomorrow if all goes well tonight? If all does not? Tough situation for picking and choosing, because the long layoff this week has kept both goalies off the ice for days.

Fireworks?
A bitter playoff series this past spring enlivened some bad blood between these two clubs, and though both have seen some turnover, it'd be no surprise if there were some fireworks in a nationally televised game tonight (Versus, 7:30).

Who steps up for the Flyers tonight?

Reports: Andrew Bogut to sign with Cavaliers after buyout from Sixers

Reports: Andrew Bogut to sign with Cavaliers after buyout from Sixers

Andrew Bogut, we hardly knew ye. 

After coming over from Dallas as part of the Nerlens Noel trade, Bogut is already thinking about his next move.

With the Sixers expected to buyout Bogut's contract, the former No. 1 overall pick will look to sign with the Cavaliers, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon. 

The Sixers swapped Noel for Bogut, Justin Anderson and a top-18 protected first-round pick — which will likely turn into two second-round picks — last Thursday. 

With LeBron James begging the front office for help, the Cavaliers are expected to sign Bogut's former Dallas teammate Deron Williams Monday, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania

La Salle suffers demoralizing loss to struggling UMass

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USA Today Images

La Salle suffers demoralizing loss to struggling UMass

AMHERST, Mass. -- Zach Lewis scored a career-high 37 points, including six three-pointers, and Massachusetts pulled away from La Salle 84-71 on Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak.

Lewis, whose 37-point effort was the best for any player in the Atlantic 10 this season, hit nine of his 16 field goal attempts overall and was a perfect 13-for-13 at the free throw line. Dejon Jarreau added 20 points and four three-ponters for UMass (14-15, 4-12).

Pookie Powell hit five 3-pointers and scored 24 points, and B.J. Johnson added 20 points to lead La Salle (14-13, 8-8).

Both teams shot similar percentages and had similar three-point totals, but the Minutemen finished with a plus-14 advantage at the free throw line.

La Salle remained within striking distance but a 13-4 stretch for UMass midway through the second half pushed its lead to 63-51. The Minutemen kept the Explorers at arm's length the rest of the way.