The Big, Bad, Boston Bruins visit Buffalo tonight!
The Sabres look to stay perfect against a big, talented Bruins team.
Buffalo Sabres (3-0-0) vs. Boston Bruins (1-1-0)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EDT | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY
* TV: ESPN+ / Hulu
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Boston Bruins Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder
Know Your Opponent
Last game: 6-3 loss vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Division Ranking: 7th – Atlantic Division
PP: 28th (0%)
PK: 19th (75.0%)
What to Watch
*1. Or how to watch?
As part of the new broadcasting deal signed with the NHL, ESPN will have exclusive television broadcasting rights for this game and therefore fans can only watch the game on streaming service ESPN+. This is the first of 8 Sabres games that will appear on ESPN+ this season. The NHL hasn’t tried to sell off radio rights yet, so WGR will still broadcast the game via the air waves.
2. Beware of the Bruins
It’s not hard to see how much talent is in the Bruins’ line-up. A bumpy start to the season so far does not mitigate the fact that the Bruins’ can still lay a thumpin’ on any team, on any given night. They are big, fast and have arguably the best 1st line in the NHL, with LW Brad Marchand and RW David Pastrnak already racking up points in the early going. Thus, Craig Anderson will undoubtedly be tested as the Bruins have fired off 40 shots on net in each of their first 2 games this season.
3. Injuries continue down the “Mittel”
Centre Cody Eakin suffered an injury in practice that will keep him out of the lineup tonight (and possibly longer), along with previously injured teammates C Casey Mittelstadt and D Henri Jokiharju. With the loss of Eakin, Coach Granto will shift Girgensons to centre amidst some additional line shuffling. Truculent winger John Hayden will make his Sabres debut on the 4th line.
Defenseman Will Butcher will continue his top pair duties with Rasmus Dahlin in Jokiharju’s absence, while Dylan Cozens will remain in Mittelstadt’s 1st line spot.
The Bruins will be without veteran winger Nick Foligno who was injured during Boston’s last game in Philadelphia. Winger Anton Blidh will slot into the Bruins lineup in Foligno’s absence.
4. Ripe for the picking?
Despite all of the previously noted talent in the line-up, the Bruins’ defense did look vulnerable in their last game against the Flyers. In particular, Philly was able to score 4 of their 6 goals by weathering the Bruins’ attack, then effectively counterpunching. The Bruins’ defense pinched early and often allowing the Flyers to score 2 goals off of long stretch passes out of their D-zone. Philly also picked up 2 goals off of neutral zone turnovers that led to odd man rushes.
In all 3 games this year, the Sabres have notably exceled in both areas, neutral zone attacking and long outlet passes from their talented D-Corp. If the Sabres can pick their spots well, the blue and gold have a chance to keep rolling.
5. Not-So-Welcome back to Linus Ullmark
After 6 seasons in Buffalo, the Sabres know the debutant Bruins netminder very well. Perhaps some valuable scouting material to work with?
Buffalo Sabres (rocking the “Home” white sweaters)
Jeff Skinner – Dylan Cozens – Vinnie Hinostroza
Rasmus Asplund –Tage Thompson – Victor Olofsson
Anders Bjork –– Zemgus Girgensons – Kyle Okposo
Drake Caggiula - Arttu Ruotsalainen – John Hayden
Rasmus Dahlin – Will Butcher
Jacob Bryson – Colin Miller
Robert Hagg – Mark Pysyk
Starting Goalie: Craig Anderson
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith
Jake DeBrusk – Erik Haula – Tomas Nosek
Anton Blidh - Trent Fredric – Karson Kuhlman
Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – John Moore
Starting Goalie: Linus Ullmark