Sabres seek bounceback in Beantown rubber match
With only three wins in their last 10, Boston is as vulnerable as ever.
Buffalo Sabres (17-15-7) vs. Boston Bruins (23-7-9)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | TD Garden | Boston, MA
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Bruins Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder
Know Your Opponent
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.
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.
Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart
Jimmy Vesey - Marcus Johansson - Rasmus Asplund
Jeff Skinner - Evan Rodrigues -
Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo
Brandon Montour - Rasmus Ristolainen
Henri Jokiharju - Rasmus Dahlin
Starting Goaltender: Linus Ullmark (unconfirmed)
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Danton Heinen
Sean Kuraly - Charlie Coyle - Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom - Par Lindholm - Brett Ritchie
Steve Kampfer - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton
Starting Goaltender: Tuukka Rask