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NHL PLAYOFFS

Eastern Conference Preview Capsules

April 11, 2001|ROY JURGENS

No. 4 PHILADELPHIA

vs.

No. 5 BUFFALO

Best of seven

Wednesday at Philadelphia, 4 p.m.

Saturday at Philadelphia, 10 a.m.

Monday at Buffalo, 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday at Buffalo, 4 p.m.

April 19 *at Philadelphia, 4:30 p.m.

April 21 *at Buffalo, noon

April 23 *at Philadelphia, 4 p.m.

* if necessary; all times Pacific

THE BREAKDOWN

* Team records: Philadelphia 43-25-11-3, Buffalo 46-30-5-1.

* Season series: Philadelphia 4-0-0.

* Coaches: PHI: Bill Barber, 0-0 (.000) in playoffs. BUF: Lindy Ruff, 25-16 (.610) in playoffs.

* Scouting report: If familiarity breeds contempt, it has turned to hatred in the case of the Flyers and Sabres, who will meet in the playoffs for the fifth time since 1995. Philadelphia overcame a coaching change, Bobby Clarke's personality disorder, Eric Lindros' incessant whining and John LeClair's aching back to get in. Forwards Keith Primeau, Simon Gagne and Mark Recchi picked up the slack for the absent Lindros and injured LeClair. Buffalo finished the season on a tear, winning 10 of its last 14 games. The Sabres won the Jennings Trophy by giving up an NHL-low 184 goals, a testament to their sound defensive play. The Sabres upgraded their sputtering offense by adding wingers Donald Audette and Steve Heinze at the trade deadline. Miroslav Satan's 29 goals were his fewest in three seasons.

* Goaltending: The student has been getting the best of his teacher lately. The Flyers' Roman Cechmanek was Dominic Hasek's backup on the 1998 Olympic gold-medal Czech team. In four games against Philadelphia this season, the Sabres scored only two goals against Cechmanek, who had an outstanding rookie campaign with 35 wins and a 2.01 goals-against average. After a shaky start, Hasek finished strong with 37 wins and a 2.10 GAA. As usual, Buffalo will go as far as Hasek carries it.

* Team leaders: PHI--Keith Primeau (34 goals), Mark Recchi (50 assists , 77 points). BUF--Miroslav Satan (29 goals, 32 assists, 61 points).

* Late season additions: PHI--LW Dean McAmmond. BUF--RW Donald Audette, RW Steve Heinze.

* Injury report: PHI--Primeau (knee) 2-3 weeks; RW Rick Tocchet (groin), day-to-day. BUF--None.

*--*

THE MATCHUPS PHI BUF Goals scored 240 (11) 218 (16) Goals allowed 207 (T10) 184 (1) Power play pct. 15.7 (19) 16.1 (17) Penalty killing 82.5 (20) 88.0 (1) Goals against avg. 2.48 (10) 2.23 (1) Save percentage .903 (15) .916 (1) Avg. penalty min. 14.4 (12) 15.2 (17) Short-handed goals 11 (T8) 6 (T23)

*--*

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