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by Rob Crean / Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo will be looking to even its best-of-seven series with Philadelphia at two games apiece tonight when the Sabres and Flyers square off at HSBC Arena.

Following Monday’s 4-2 Game 3 loss in which the Sabres held a 37-26 advantage in shots, Jason Pominville said there will be an emphasis on getting better scoring opportunities. 

Anytime you’ve got experience, it helps you. You look back on your situations and you’re playoff series that you’ve had. If you look at them, they battled hard to come back and beat Boston last year. They know what that’s all about. Part of ours is, we know that we were behind the eight-ball earlier in the year, we know that we were able to battle back. We came a long ways to get in the playoffs.” - Head Coach Lindy Ruff
“We definitely want to create more opportunities for ourselves, especially in those dangerous scoring areas around the slot… We out-shot them but we definitely didn’t out-chance them.  That’s an area where we want to be better. We want to have those second and third opportunities that usually will lead to a really good scoring chance.”

Lindy Ruff also acknowledged that the edge in shots did not translate into more quality scoring chances. On Wednesday, Ruff said that getting an early lead will help create better chances.

“If you can get the lead, you’ll get better quality, because the other team, it forces them out of their game,” Ruff said.  “If you don’t, you’ve got to get in the holes.  I thought we did a better job of getting in the holes, I thought we did a better job of getting people around the paint.  When teams have four or five guys back, you’ve got to do a good job of making sure you’re getting to the net, you’re getting net presence when you get it back to the point.”

4/20 - Lindy Ruff Pregame

Through the first three games of the series, the Sabres have led for just 14 minutes and 48 seconds.  Patrick Kaleta scored with 14:04 remaining in the third period of Game 1 to give Buffalo a 1-0 win.  In Game 2, during a wild first period that ended in a 3-3 tie, the Sabres led for just 44 seconds.  At no point in Game 3 did Buffalo hold a lead.

“It really changes the approach the other team has to take if you’re chasing the lead all the time,” Ruff added.  “They’re a pretty good counter-attack team, they’re a quick attack team.  You make mistakes by trying to be aggressive, you put yourself in a tough spot,” Ruff added.

Tyler Ennis, who was back on the ice for Wednesday’s optional morning skate after being given a “maintenance” day on Tuesday, said that getting an early lead would also help in terms of feeding of the energy of the fans.

“It’s important to get the lead, especially in the playoffs.  It would be good to get the first goal, get the fans behind us, get them into it and get that energy.  When they score first, sometimes it can drain everyone a little bit, so that first goal is huge,” Ennis said.

There were no indications of any lineup changes for the Sabres, with Ruff pointing out that Mark Mancari would not be in the lineup for Game 4. 

The Sabres are 8-7 all-time in Game 4 of a playoff series when trailing 2-1


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