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Sabres seek bounceback in Beantown rubber match

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With only three wins in their last 10, Boston is as vulnerable as ever.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game 40

Buffalo Sabres (17-15-7) vs. Boston Bruins (23-7-9)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | TD Garden | Boston, MA

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Bruins Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Know Your Opponent

Boston Bruins

Record: (23-7-9) | 55 PTS

Last 10: 3-4-3

Division Ranking: 1st in Atlantic Division

Conference Ranking: 2nd in Eastern Conference

PP: 3rd (26.4%)

PK: 4th (84.3%)

What to Watch

1. Gain ground

As midseason comes hurtling upon us like a meteor breaking through the atmosphere, Buffalo is sliding down the standings with equal speed. It is imperative that the Sabres begin to garner some points. There is no better time to do so than against a Bruins team who is perhaps their weakest all season. With only one win in their last ten games, the Bruins are as vulnerable now as they likely will be, and Buffalo would be wise to take advantage.

2. Even it up

The Bruins are at the top of the standings, as well as most statistical categories, including special teams. They are infallible on the penalty kill and lethal on the power play. Buffalo needs to score at even strength and stay out of the penalty box. It’s clichéd, for sure, but there are times when special teams can win games, and for the Sabres, tonight is not one of them. Score five-on-five. Keep it clean. Don’t give Boston the advantage of one of its strongest weapons.

3. Overcome

The Sabres have faced a lot of adversity of late, and it doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. With a defender playing routine shifts at forward, one would think that the team would be better defensively, but one would be incorrect. For this team to overcome all of this adversity is a big ask, but these are the cards that have been dealt and the Sabres have to play their best with this hand. It’s a great time for Jimmy Vesey to get hot again, or Marcus Johansson to show some of those flashes we’ve seen early in the season.

Projected Lineup

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Jimmy Vesey - Marcus Johansson - Rasmus Asplund

Jeff Skinner - Evan Rodrigues -

Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo

Defense

Brandon Montour - Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe - Colin Miller

Henri Jokiharju - Rasmus Dahlin

Marco Scandella

Starting Goaltender: Linus Ullmark (unconfirmed)

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