Anders Bjork makes his Sabres debut, Bruins vs Sabres preview
The Bruins welcome in the Sabres with new faces on both sides following the trade deadline
Buffalo Sabres (10-25-6) vs. Boston Bruins (21-12-6)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | TD Garden | Boston, MA
TV: MSG-B, NESN
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Bruins Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder
Know Your Opponent
Last 10: 5-4-1
Division Ranking: 4th in the East
PP: 9th (23.3%)
PK: 1th (85.4%)
1. Anders Bjork makes Sabres debut
On Monday the Sabres traded Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar to Boston in exchange for Anders Bjork and a second-round pick. Tonight will be an interesting game as it is Taylor Hall and Anders Bjork’s debut for their respective teams. Curtis Lazar is a game time decision since he missed the last 6 games with an injury. Hall will be on the second line alongside David Krejci and Craig Smith and will be on the second power-play unit. Bjork already has some connections to the Buffalo organization, he used to be teammates with Jack Eichel on the USNTDP. Tonight Bjork will play left wing on a line with Dylan Cozens and Arttu Ruotsalainen.
2. Find the empty area
Tonight Jeremy Swayman will start in net for the Bruins. Tukka Rask has been out with an upper-body injury and is expected to be back Thursday. Swayman is 22 years old and was drafted by Boston in the 4th round of 2017. Last season he played at the University of Maine. This will be his fourth game for the Bruins, having a record of 2-1.
Swayman is a very aggressive goalie and will be outside his paint challenging the shooter. The Sabres need to make Swayman bite on the “shot” and find the backdoor pass. If the Sabres can find the extra space and bring Swayman out of his blue paint, the offense could be rolling tonight.
Logan Mullen of NESN wrote about Swayman’s aggressiveness and what head coach Bruce Cassidy thinks about it:
“The goals they scored, can’t fault Swayman,” the Bruins head coach said after the game. “His style is to be aggressive,” Cassidy said about the third goal. “He’s challenging the shooter, so no issues there. … I don’t mind him being aggressive, he’ll learn what he can get away with and what he can’t.” Swayman’s college goalie coach, Alfie Michaud, actually mentioned that aggressiveness in a conversation with NESN.com Friday. At times, it’ll be a real useful asset for the young goalie. But, as Cassidy mentioned, with time he’ll see when he can be aggressive and when it’s best to stay put.
Find the article here: https://nesn.com/2021/04/bruins-notes-jeremy-swayman-bruce-cassidy-flyers/
On Philadelphia’s third goal of the game, Swayman challenged way too far and was caught out of his net for an easy empty-net goal.
3. Good start for Ruotsalainen
Arttu Ruotsalainen has had a good start since joining the Sabres. He has 1 point in his first two games. His first NHL goal was a beautiful one-timer, top-shelf to beat Carter Hart. Tonight he is on a line with newcomer Anders Bjork and Dylan Cozens.
Buffalo Sabres (projected)
Jeff Skinner - Sam Reinhart - Victor Olofsson
Rasmus Asplund - Casey Mittelstadt - Tage Thompson
Anders Bjork - Dylan Cozens - Arttu Ruotsalainen
Riley Sheahan - Cody Eakin - Kyle Okposo
Jacob Bryson - Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin - Henri Jokiharju
Matt Irwin - Colin Miller
Starter: Linus Ullmark
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall - David Krejci - Craig Smith
Nick Ritchie - Charlie Coyle - Jake DeBrusk
Sean Kuraly - Curtis Lazar - Chris Wagner
Jeremy Lauzon - Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly - Kevan Miller
Jarred Tinordi - Connor Clifton