Kukla's Korner

The Sabres Observer

Some Lineup Tinkering For Sabres

Buffalo is making some lineup changes for tonight’s Game Three against Philadelphia.

Brad Boyes, who hasn’t been producing much at center, has been demoted to playing wing on the fourth line with Mike Grier and Cody McCormick.  The big issue with Boyes is that he’s been playing on the perimeter, and Lindy Ruff feels this move will spark him to crash the net more.

Rob Niedermayer is moving up to center for Drew Stafford and Tyler Ennis, who both have also struggled to produce in the first two games of the series.

On defense, the Buffalo News reports that there is a possibility that Jordan Leopold could return to the lineup tonight.

I thought the Sabres did a good job matching the Flyers intensity in Game Two even though it resulted in too many penalties.  Ruff is more accepting of his players erring on the side of aggression, and with good reason.  Playing a passive game against a physical and talented team like Philly isn’t going to get it done.

Brian Boucher will be in net for Philadelphia tonight.  The Sabres should take a cue from the Flyers and get traffic in front of the opposing goaltender as much as possible.  Try to have those after-the-whistle scrums take place in front of their net instead of yours.

Interestingly, the last time Philly won a playoff series against Buffalo was around the turn of the century with a much younger and less experienced Boucher manning the nets.  We’ll see if they’re able to do it again 11 years later.

The Sabres have talked openly about how excited they are to play in front of their raucous home crowd.  Fans here are pumped and may just blow the roof off the building tonight.  Game time is 7:00 and will be televised on Versus, TSN, and MSG.

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About The Sabres Observer

Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003.  He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene.  Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.

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Email: dd@kuklaskorner.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]