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Sabres Host Bruins to Open Home-and-Home

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Sabres try to start fresh after their holiday break.

NHL: DEC 23 Sabres at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Game 39

Buffalo Sabres (17-14-7) vs. Boston Bruins (22-7-9)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Bruins Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Know Your Opponent

Boston Bruins

Record: (22-7-9) | 53 PTS

Last 10: 2-4-4

Division Ranking: 1st in Atlantic Division

Conference Ranking: 2nd in Eastern Conference

PP: 3rd (26.4%)

PK: 4th (84.0%)

What to Watch

1. A Return from Break

The Sabres are finally set and ready to return from the holiday break, and tonight’s game is the first of a home-and-home with the Bruins. Friday’s game is the second of four meetings between the two teams this season, and the Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last ten games against Boston. They’ve won just one of the last 10 meetings at home.

2. Jack Eichel is Good at Hockey

We all know Jack Eichel is good at hockey, but he’s also particularly good against the Bruins. Eichel has five points, including a pair of goals, in his last three games against Boston.

Overall, Eichel has recorded 16 points since the beginning of December, which ranks him third among all NHL players. He notched his 50th point of the season back on December 17, making him the first Sabres player to reach 50 points in 35 or fewer games since 1992-93.

3. Home Sweet Home

The Sabres have won their last five home games, outscoring their opponents 25-12 in that stretch. Their plus-19 goal differential on home ice is tied for third-best in the league. After tonight’s game, the Sabres hit the road to Boston on Sunday before closing out the calendar year against the Tampa Bay Lightning at home on New Year’s Eve. That game will kick off a three-game homestead for Buffalo.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Jimmy Vesey - Marcus Johansson - Rasmus Asplund

Jeff Skinner - Evan Rodrigues - Conor Sheary

Zemgus Girgensons - Marcus Johansson - Kyle Okposo

Defense

Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen

Colin Miller - Brandon Montour

Marco Scandella - Henri Jokiharju

Rasmus Dahlin - Zach Bogosian

Starting Goaltender: Linus Ullmark

Boston Bruins

Forwards

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Danton Heinen

Sean Kuraly - Charlie Coyle - Anders Bjork

Joakim Nordstrom - Par Lindholm - Brett Ritchie

Defense

John Moore - Charlie McAvoy

Steve Kampfer - Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton

Starting Goaltender: Tuukka Rask