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Daniel Briere's return to Buffalo didn't go as well as he'd hoped.
After being held without a point in his first game back in the city where he was a fan favorite before leaving via free agency, Briere and the Philadelphia Flyers seek a split of a home-and-home series with the Sabres on Saturday night.
Despite leading Buffalo with 95 points last season, the Sabres allowed their co-captain to sign with another team. On July 1, Briere inked an eight-year, $52 million deal with the Flyers - owners of the league's worst record last season.
Briere returned to upstate New York on Friday and was minus-2 in just over 24 minutes of ice time as Philadelphia lost 3-2. Jochen Hecht's goal with less than three minutes to play snapped a 2-all tie and Ryan Miller finished with 20 saves for the Sabres (18-14-1), who matched a season high with their fifth win in a row and 12th in 16 games.
"We came in to have a good game. We're on a winning streak now and we've put together some games where we've found a way to win," Hecht said.
Briere has struggled at home in his first season in Philadelphia, recording four goals and nine assists in 15 games at the Wachovia Center. Last season, he averaged better than a point per game on home ice, totaling 17 goals and 30 assists in 41 games at Buffalo.
Briere also had four game-winning goals at home last season. He's yet to register one in Philadelphia (16-14-3).
Jeff Carter and Joffrey Lupul scored 45 seconds apart early in the second period Friday for the Flyers, who have dropped a season-high five straight. Lupul, though, has scored seven of his 13 goals in his last six games.
"We're a young team," Briere said. "We're still in the stages of trying to learn how to stay patient and find ways to win."
The Flyers likely will again face Miller, who has improved his road play recently. Over the first two months of the season, Miller was 3-7-1 away from Buffalo with a 2.89 goals against average. Starting with a victory at San Jose on Dec. 8, Miller is 3-0-0 with a 1.67 GAA on the road.
He's made only four career starts in Philadelphia, going 1-2-0 with a 2.96 GAA. In his last start there on Mar. 11, 2006, he was pulled after allowing five goals in the first two periods of the Sabres' 6-5 win.
He was relieved in that contest by Martin Biron, who stopped 32 shots for the Flyers on Friday during his first game in Buffalo since being traded to Philadelphia in February.
Biron won his first six starts at home this season with a 1.16 GAA and two shutouts. He's since gone 1-3-3 with a 3.87 GAA there.
The Sabres and Flyers split two games in Philadelphia last season. Buffalo has won three of its last four there after dropping four straight from 2002-04.