Buffalo Sabres (21-12-5) vs Boston Bruins (20-14-4)
Season Series: 1-1
- 10/4 - Bruins 4 | Sabres 0
- 12/16 - Sabres 4 | Bruins 2 (complete coverage)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Bruins blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder
Know Your Opponent
Record: (20-14-4) | 44 points
Last 10: 6-4-0
Division Ranking: 5th in the Atlantic Division
Conference Ranking: 8th in the Eastern Conference
PP: 5th (26.7%)
PK: 19th (78.6%)
What to watch for
1. Missing (Not) In Action
Several players from both sides are expected to be out for tonight’s game. The Sabres recalled goaltender Scott Wedgewood from the Rochester Americans early Saturday morning, which likely means Linus Ullmark is still not well enough to back up. That’ll mean Carter Hutton starts in goal.
Jason Pominville is still out after his collision with Rasmus Ristolainen, while Scott Wilson, Casey Nelson & Nathan Beaulieu are also still out. For the Bruins, expect their lineup to be missing David Backes (suspended) and Charlie McAvoy (injured). Brad Marchand missed practice on Friday and is unlikely to play Saturday with an upper-body injury.
Off the ice, fans watching tonight’s game from home should hear Rick Jeanneret back on the action on MSG and WGR550. It’ll be good to hear/see RJ back in action.
2. Penalty-Killing Power
The Sabres have had some success on the penalty kill lately. Over the last ten games, they’ve killed 96.4% of their penalties (27-for-28). It’s their best in a 10-game stretch since October 15 to November 5, 2011.
It’s also the first time the Sabres have allowed one or fewer power-play goals in a 10-game stretch since 2012.
3. “It’s only going to get harder.”
The Sabres face a tough road ahead. After tonight’s game against Boston, the Sabres host the New York Islanders on New Year’s Eve. Other upcoming opponents include the Bruins once again as well as the Florida Panthers. As teams fight to climb up the standings in hopes of securing a playoff spot, Phil Housley, Jack Eichel, Kyle Okposo and Pominville all reflected on the same thought - it’s only going to get harder.
Jeff Skinner - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart
Conor Sheary - Vladimir Sobotka - Evan Rodrigues
Remi Elie - Casey Mittelstadt - Kyle Okposo
Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Tage Thompson
Rasmus Dahlin - Zach Bogosian
Lawrence Pilut - Rasmus Ristolainen
Marco Scandella - Jake McCabe
Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton
Danton Heinen - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Joakim Nordstrom - David Krejci - Jake DeBrusk
Ryan Donato - Colby Cave - Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson
Sean Kuraly - Noel Acciari - Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara - Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug - John Moore
Matt Grzelcyk - Kevan Miller
Starting Goaltender: Tuukka Rask