Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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Sabres surge to 2-0 start

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The early differences are clear. Last year, it was 0-for-4 against the Flyers. This year, the Sabres are 1-for-1.

They came up empty in three trips to Toronto last season, and got a win in their first chance this time.

"I think we had a tough little go here, after having a good stretch where we came in here and won a lot of games," said captain Jason Pominville. "Lately it hasn't gone our way, but it's important to get our confidence and knowning we can win in this building."

They're a team we play a lot. It's a team we always want to push down, always want to play hard," added goaltender Ryan Miller. "We come here and they have great fans here. It's exciting to play here, and it felt good to pull a victory out of here."

In addition to goaltending, much of the early success has started with top line production. Pominville and Thomas Vanek have combined for 11 points in the first two games, while their center Cody Hodgson has added an ugly goal in each of them.

"If they continue to get those chances, they're all good enough goal scorers that their share will go in," said head coach Lindy Ruff. "Anytime you look at chances, and your top line is getting five or six per game, there's a good chance they're going to get on the score board."

Playing here with these guys, they make it really easy," said Hodgson. "Playing with Vanek and Pommer, they're pretty amazing players.

"On the PK, I think we do a real good job system wise. Everyone knows what we're doing. So it's working out right now. It's only two games. But hopefully we can continue that as well."

So after an extended layoff, it's been: two days, two games, two wins. It's been a real tough opening stretch. Lindy Ruff has given his team off on Tuesday, they'll be back to practice Wednesday, and on Thursday in Carolina they'll open a home and home.

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