Flyers and Sabres set for heated Game 7

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The Sabres didn’t miss him. Buffalo responded by going 29-11-6 in its final 46 games to clinch a playoff spot in its second-to-last game of the season.

And while he’s glad to be back, certainly, Roy isn’t sure how much he can push himself in a frantic Game 7.

The Flyers faced a familiar situation in Game 6 when injured defenseman Chris Pronger returned for the first time after a 21-game absence following surgery on his broken right hand.

Pronger didn’t get his first shift until 10:05 into the game with the Sabres ahead 2-0. He finished with 4:33 of ice time and was limited solely to the power play. Pronger expects to see a minutes bump Tuesday.

“He has been there and he knows what it takes,” Flyers forward Claude Giroux said. “Any time you’ve got a guy like Pronger in your lineup, you are going to feel more confident.”

While Pronger settles back in his comfort zone, the Flyers could use an offensive jolt from Richards.

He has yet to score in the series _ a six-game tussle that will haunt the Sabres if they can’t find a way to win a Game 7 on the road. They coughed up a 3-1 lead in a Game 6 loss and surrendered a 3-0 lead before rallying in Game 5.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette keeps spinning the wheel in net _ round and round it goes, where it stops _ well, at least the Flyers know. He ended any mystery by naming veteran Brian Boucher the starter. Yes, the Flyers have used three starting goalies in the series. Sergei Bobrovsky to Boucher to Michael Leighton back to Boucher.

Boucher, who lost a Game 7 for the Flyers in the 2000 East finals vs. New Jersey, is ready to build on his strong finish to Game 6.

“I feel like I have had a solid series, aside from three minutes,” Boucher said. “So, I feel good about my game.”

Miller has two shutouts _ and as many losses as Boucher, Bobrovsky and Leighton.

“You have to play a calm hockey game,” Miller said. “Sometimes, being overexcited can hurt, and I think being nervous can hurt. I don’t think there’s any reason to be any of that.”

Home ice hasn’t been an advantage. The Flyers lost Game 1 at home. The Sabres lost Games 3 and 6 at home.

The Flyers, though, are leaning on a bit of recent history to assist them as they try and rally from 3-2 down to win a series. They famously trailed Boston 3-0 in the Eastern Conference semifinals last year and stormed back to win four straight.

They’d love a repeat.

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