Season Series: 10/21 – Sabres 5, Bruins 4 (OT)
Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Bruins blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder
What to Watch
1. Fasching heads back to Rochester.
On Monday, the Sabres announced that forward Hudson Fasching has been re-assigned to the AHL’s Rochester Americans. He was held pointless and registered one shot on goal in five games with Buffalo during the recall. Now, he’ll return to a busy Amerks team that hosts Belleville Wednesday before visiting Laval for a pair of games Friday and Saturday prior to the holiday break.
Fasching’s reassignment likely means the return of forward Jacob Josefson to the Sabres’ lineup. He practiced for two straight days (Sunday-Monday) and could be in the lineup tonight against Boston. Head coach Phil Housley said that his availability will be determined based on how his ankle responds to the practice.
With Fasching’s reassignment and Josefson’s return, a shakeup in the lineup seems likely.
Josefson has been out since mid-November when he returned from injury for just three games before getting reinjured. He initially suffered the ankle injury on October 15.
2. Will Eichel stay hot?
Jack Eichel enters tonight’s game on the heels of his first career hat trick, which happened Friday night in the loss to Carolina. He also added an assist for a career-high (tie) four-point night. He’s registered nine points (4-5) in his last seven games entering tonight’s bout with the Bruins.
Eichel has also found some success against Boston in his young career, with seven points (3-4) in eight games against the Bruins. That includes points in three straight against Boston.
Will he stay hot in tonight’s game?
3. Later, Boston.
After tonight’s game, the Bruins and Sabres won’t face off again until Saturday, February 10, in Boston. That game will be the first of two meetings between the teams in a span of 15 days, as their final meeting of the season is scheduled for February 25 in Buffalo.
Entering tonight’s game, the Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last ten home games against the Bruins. Overall, the Sabres are 73-48-23 at home against Boston all-time.
Know Your Opponent
1. Bruins coming in hot.
The Bruins head into tonight’s game in Buffalo on the heels of a decisive 7-2 win over Columbus Monday night, a victory that saw the Bruins score four times in a span of 6:20 in the third period.
Danton Heinen and Jake Debrusk each registered three points (1-2) in Monday’s win, while Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, Ryan Spooner, Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy each registered a pair of points.
Bergeron and Sean Kuraly each notched five shots on goal, while the Bruins as a whole put up 45 shots on net.
2. Streaks on streaks on streaks.
There are multiple players on the Bruins carrying point streaks into tonight’s game.
Perhaps the most notable: David Pastrnak, who’s registered at least a point in 12 straight games, dating back to November 22. His streak includes five goals and nine assists.
Marchand has his own streak going, with points in nine straight, including six goals and eight assists. Heinen is on a three-game point streak including last night’s three-point performance, while McAvoy has three points in his last three games.
Bergeron, meanwhile, has points in three of his last five games (3 goals, 2 assists).
3. Second-best in goals-against
The Bruins are second-best in goals-against among Eastern Conference teams so far this season. Through 31 games, they’ve allowed just 87 goals against, second only to Tampa Bay (80 GA).
The Sabres will need to break through that barrier if they hope to find success in tonight’s game.
9 Evander Kane - 15 Jack Eichel - 29 Jason Pominville
67 Benoit Pouliot - 90 Ryan O’Reilly - 21 Kyle Okposo
17 Jordan Nolan - 10 Jacob Josefson - 71 Evan Rodrigues
28 Zemgus Girgensons - 22 Johan Larsson - 23 Sam Reinhart
6 Marco Scandella - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
19 Jake McCabe - 93 Victor Antipin
82 Nathan Beaulieu - 47 Zach Bogosian
4 Josh Gorges - 41 Justin Falk
Starting Goaltender: 40 Robin Lehner