Fresh off last night’s nail-biting shootout victory over the Atlanta Thrashers, the Bruins (9-8-4) will head north to take on division leading Buffalo (12-5-1) tonight at HSBC Arena.
It looked like another win was going to slip away from Boston last night when in the final minute of regulation, Atlanta was able to knot the score at 3, sending the game into overtime. But thanks to a nifty stop-and-start move by Patrice Bergeron and three quality shootout saves by Tuukka Rask, the Bruins escaped with two points in the standings on a 4-3 shootout win over Atlanta.
Now let’s look at a few points to ponder with tonight’s opponent, the Buffalo Sabres…
- This is the second meeting of these two division rivals this season. Boston was able to come away with a 4-2 victory over the Sabres less than two weeks ago, on Nov. 7th, in a game that featured each team’s backup goalie.
- Buffalo had their three-game win streak snapped on Wednesday in a 6-2 home loss to the Florida Panthers. In that game, the Sabres committed a season-high 25 turnovers.
- Leading the way for Buffalo on the score sheet are forwards Tim Connolly (4G, 12A) and Derek Roy (4G, 10A). Both were held out of practice Thursday for what head coach Lindy Ruff termed as “maintenance reasons.” Ruff expects both in the lineup this evening.
- Also on a hot streak for the Sabres is forward Thomas Vanek (6G, 6A), who is in the midst of a 4-game point streak. He assisted on both Buffalo goals in Wednesday’s 6-2 loss to Florida.
- The Sabres may see the return of Toni Lydman to the lineup this evening. Lydman has been sidelined the last 11 games with a groin strain. Speaking of groins, Mike Grier has also missed time the last three games with a groin injury of his own. I guess groin injuries in Buffalo are as contagious as the swine flu is everywhere else.
- In net, all but two of Buffalo’s 18 games this season have been started by one of the league’s elite goaltenders, Ryan Miller (12-3-1, 1.97GAA). Patrick Lalime and Jhonas Enroth (both 0-1 with matching 4.14GAA’s) have also seen action. Miller, along with Boston’s Tim Thomas, are both favorites to represent the United States as goalies on the Olympic hockey team in Vancouver in February.
Tags: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Derek Roy, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Miller, Tim Connolly, Tuukka Rask