The Boston Bruins (5-0-1) will welcome Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres (2-3-1) to the TD Garden on Thursday night as they look to continue their red hot start in 2013. The black and gold had a great come from behind win versus the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. Every aspect of the Bruins game is clicking (besides their power-play) and they look to continue that tonight in front of their home crowd where they post a 4-0 record this season.
This will be the first of five meetings between these two clubs. The Bruins took care of the Sabres four out of six times in 2012 while beating them three times in Boston. The Sabres started off the season on the right skate (2-0), but took two losses to Carolina, one to Washington and then a heart-breaking overtime last seconds loss to the Maple Leafs leaving the them searching for answers.
Buffalo Captain Jason Pominville stressed that getting a point in their last game versus the Maple Leafs was important.
“We weren’t able to get two points, but sometimes you have to start with one and hopefully this little stretch will make us stronger and we’ll learn that we’ve got to play complete games,” Pominville said. “You can never give up until the end.”
After the jump more storylines, line projections, linkage and tweets of interest
Gametime: 7:00 p.m.
T.V./Radio: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Location: TD Garden
Records: Bruins (5-0-1, 11 points), Sabres (2-3-1, 5 points)
Bruins projected lines
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Lane McDermid-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dougie Hamilton-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Sabres projected lines
Thomas Vanek-Cody Hodgson-Jason Pominville
Steve Ott-Tyler Ennis-Drew Stafford
Marcus Foligno-Mikhail Grigorenko-Jochen Hecht
John Scott-Matt Ellis-Patrick Kaleta
Robyn Regehr-Tyler Myers
Christian Ehrhoff-Alexander Sulzer
Jordan Leopold-Andrej Sekera
Bruins to watch
Look out for Milan Lucic. The Sabres still have in the back of their mind the time he ran Ryan Miller into the ground. There is still some bad blood between the two and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lucic threw down with somebody. Lucic also has two goals and two assists on the year. He also has a plus five while on the ice so, while playing physical like he should, he is still getting the job done.
Also, look for Nathan Horton to continue his hot streak. Horton has goals in his last two games and he is tied for the team lead with Brad Marchand with three. Horton’s concussion is a thing of the past and he is playing like the first liner he is suppose to be.
Tuukka Rask looks for his fifth victory in six starts this year. He sports a 1.74 goals against average and a .932 save percentage, both good for fifth in the National Hockey League.
Sabres to watch
The Bruins must keep an eye on Thomas Vanek. Vanek has seven assists in his last five games to go along with three goals on the season. The left winger has been a force for the Sabres all year.
Also, Steve Ott is a man the Bruins need to be aware of. He may be looking to engage with Lucic or Thornton in a bout to try and spark his team. Ott only has two points on the year and is third on the team in penalty minutes.
Ryan Miller is another Sabre that the Bruins must take advantage of. The Bruins must get out to an early lead and pepper him often. Make him uncomfortable in his crease because if Miller gets comfortable and is seeing the game well, he is very tough to score on.
ESPNBoston’s James Murphy takes a look at why the Bruins will be a tough test for the Buffalo Sabres.
CSNNE’s Boston Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty takes a look at who is stepping in for Chris Bourque tonight and the possibility of Adam McQuaid returning to the Bruins lineup.
Mike Harrington of Buffalo News writes about how Coach Ruff wants two points from his team and not the Bruins’ flesh.
Diebytheblade.com previews tonight’s match up.