(April 8) - The Buffalo Sabres hope winning the President's Trophy is just the beginning of the best season in franchise history.
The Sabres will look to cap the regular season with a fourth straight win when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
Buffalo (53-21-7) beat Washington 2-0 on Saturday to set a franchise record for wins and recorded its 113th point to clinch its first President's Trophy.
"It's well-earned, but it's a small step on the way to where we want to get," said coach Lindy Ruff, whose team recorded more than 100 points for the second straight season.
The Sabres are tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the most points in the NHL, but have clinched the best record because they own the tiebreaker with more overall wins. Besides looking to finish with more points than Detroit, Buffalo is trying to sweep the season series from the Flyers for the first time since 2001-02.
With the win Saturday, Buffalo secured home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs, and next week they begin pursuit of the franchise's first Stanley Cup. The Sabres lost to the eventual champion Carolina Hurricanes in seven games in the conference finals last season.
On Saturday, Derek Roy scored his 20th goal, Tim Connolly had a goal in his first game since suffering a concussion in last season's playoffs and goaltender Ryan Miller added to his club record with his 40th victory while posting his second shutout of the season.
"It feels really good," Roy told the team's official Web site. "The guys really played well and Miller really shut the door."
Roy has a goal in three straight games and seven points in his last five. He had a goal and an assist in Buffalo's 6-3 home win over Philadelphia on Feb. 20 in the most recent meeting.
The Sabres, who have outscored the Flyers 20-8 this season, will look for their fourth straight win in Philadelphia.
The Flyers (21-48-12) lost 4-2 at home to the New York Islanders on Saturday to drop their fifth straight.
With 54 points going into Sunday's game, the Flyers will finish with the fewest points of any team in the league this season and the fewest in franchise history, breaking the mark of 58 set in 1969-70.
Simon Gagne scored his second goal in as many games Saturday and team-leading 40th of the season to reach 200 for his career.
"It's a mark as a hockey player that I would like to reach every year," said Gagne, who scored twice in last month's loss to Buffalo. "It's fun to put up those numbers, but you'd like to do it in a good year. Right now, it's pretty much a disappointing year for us."