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Sabres Kick off 2022 in Boston

It’s Sabres vs. Bruins in an afternoon matinee.

Buffalo Sabres v New York Islanders Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Game 33

Buffalo Sabres (10-17-5) vs. Boston Bruins (14-10-2)

Puck Drop: 1:00 PM ET | TD Garden | Boston, MA

TV: MSG, NESN

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Bruins blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Know Your Opponent

Boston Bruins

Record: 14-10-2 | 30 points

Last Game: 3-2 loss against NY Islanders, Dec. 16

Division Ranking: 5th in Atlantic Division

PP: 9th (23.7%)

PK: 15th (81.0%)

What to Watch

1. A Well-Rested Boston Team

This afternoon’s game breaks a lengthy time off for the Bruins, who haven’t played since December 16. Boston’s last six games have been postponed, along with the holiday break, so they’re likely more than ready to get back into it. They’re also expected to have a full healthy lineup, with Charlie Coyle and Brandon Carlo both returning to practice over the last few days.

2. Our Old Pal Linus

It’s expected that Linus Ullmark will get the start Saturday afternoon against his old team. He’s having an alright season; in 12 games, his record is 7-5 with a .922 save percentage and 2.52 GAA. Logically, it would make sense that Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen would be the starter for Buffalo, since Malcolm Subban started the team’s last game.

3. Who Could Be Back, and Who Isn’t

For the Sabres, we could see Jeff Skinner and/or Vinnie Hinostroza back in the lineup on Saturday. They’ve both rejoined team practices but neither has been officially activated yet, as of this morning. Either way, it’s something to keep in mind over the coming days, before Buffalo hosts the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

Don Granato will still be absent from the bench today, so Matt Ellis maintains his position as acting head coach. Dylan Cozens, Zemgus Girgensons, Mark Jankowski & Jacob Bryson remain in COVID protocol.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

JJ Peterka - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch

Rasmus Asplund - Arttu Ruotsalainen - Victor Olofsson

Brett Murray - Peyton Krebs - Kyle Okposo

Anders Bjork - Cody Eakin - John Hayden

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin - Henri Jokiharju

Mark Pysyk - Casey Fitzgerald

Will Butcher - Ethan Prow

Starting Goalie: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

Boston Bruins

Forwards

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Craig Smith

Taylor Hall - Erik Haula - David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk - Charlie Coyle - Nick Foligno

Trent Frederic - Tomas Nosek - Curtis Lazar

Defense

Matt Grzelcyk - Charlie McAvoy

Mike Reilly - Brandon Carlo

Derek Forbort - Connor Clifton

Starting Goalie: Linus Ullmark