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Sabres vs. Bruins Preview: The Gang Is All Here Edition

The Buffalo Sabres return to action after three days off to face the rival Boston Bruins at HSBC Arena. The big news for the Sabres is that everyone seems to be healthy and ready to go on Wednesday. Tim Connolly, Drew Stafford, and Rob Niedermayer will be returning from various ailments which means that Mark Mancari and Luke Adam have been sent back to Portland and Nathan Gerbe appears to be the healthy forward scratch. Here were the lines from Tuesday's practice:

 

Niedermayer-Roy-Vanek
Stafford-Hecht-Pominville
McCormick-Gaustad-Grier
Gerbe-Ennis-Connolly-Kaleta

 

The biggest shakeup is sticking Rob Niedermayer on a line with Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek, which is curious. Roy and Vanek have worked well together and sticking a defensive presence on that line might help the back checking or might just blow up in Lindy's face. 

The defense should stay the same with Rivet being the eighth forward and Shaone Morrisonn still out with concussion related issues. Ryan Miller is also expected to be the starting goaltender. 

The Boston Bruins are coming off an overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers and have seemed to have had the Sabres number this season. They defeated the Sabres early in November 5-2 and then defeated them again last week in overtime, 3-2. Their most current lines from practice on Tuesday are:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Blake Wheeler-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
Tyler Seguin/Daniel Paille-Marc Savard-Michael Ryder
Brad Marchand-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Steven Kampfer
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid

 

The biggest change for this team is the trade of Marco Sturm to Los Angeles for future considerations. The deal allows the Bruins to get some cap relief. 

Tim Thomas is expected to start this game, he being the best goaltender for the Bruins all season and a Sabre killer so far this season. Thomas has allowed three or more goals four times out of 20 total appearances which isn't good news for a Sabres team that allows almost three goals a game themselves. 

Game time is 7:00 pm on MSG