Sabres face Bruins for final time this season
Buffalo looks to bounce back from Thursday’s loss in matinee matchup
Buffalo Sabres (13-31-7) vs. Boston Bruins (29-14-6)
Puck Drop: 1:00 PM EST | TD Garden | Boston, MA
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Bruins Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder
Know Your Opponent
Division Ranking: 4th in East Division
PP: 14th (21.1%)
PK: 2nd (86.2%)
What to Watch
1. Another Luukkonen Start
Today will mark Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s fourth career start and third against the Beantown boys. The Finnish goaltender has given some solid performances since his recent debut and, thankfully, is not easily frazzled under pressure. In his last two starts (against the Rangers and the Bruins, respectively), he has stopped a total of 73 shots and interim head coach Don Granato has made mention of his growing confidence and great focus. As the season closes out, it will be fun to watch Luukkonen continue to grow and perhaps turn into an integral part of this franchise in the seasons to come.
2. Marchand is Such a Pain
Brad Marchand, a thorn in the Sabres’ side for many years, is a top performer this season as usual. He leads his team with 33 assists and 60 points, ranked seventh in the league. Aside from his contributions to scoring, he is a pest that the Sabres need to address more physically (without taking too many penalties, of course). Top hitters from Buffalo during Thursday’s game included newcomers Drake Caggiula and Arttu Ruotsalainen. Perhaps they can throw some more bodies around - including Marchand’s - in today’s matchup.
3. Finish the series on a High Note?
As this is the final time these teams meet this season, perhaps the Sabres can bounce back from Thursday’s loss with a win this afternoon. Though Buffalo played well in the first two periods against Boston the other day, their third period fell apart and ultimately led to an ugly 5-2 defeat. A full, 60 minutes would be nice, boys (this has been a constant struggle this season)!
Jeff Skinner - Sam Reinhart - Victor Olofsson
Rasmus Asplund - Casey Mittelstadt - Arttu Ruotsalainen
Anders Bjork - Dylan Cozens - Drake Caggiula
Tobias Rieder - Riley Sheahan - Tage Thompson
Mattias Samuelsson - Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin - Henri Jokiharju
Jacob Bryson - Will Borgen
Starting Goaltender: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (confirmed)
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall - David Krejci - Craig Smith
Trent Frederic - Sean Kuraly - Charlie Coyle
Nick Ritchie - Curtis Lazar - Karson Kuhlman*
*Kuhlman is a possible replacement for Chris Wagner, who has an undisclosed injury.
Matt Grzelcyk - Charlie McAvoy
Mike Rielly - Kevan Miller
Jeremy Lauzon - Connor Clifton
Starting Goaltender: Jeremy Swayman (expected)