Tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres is more than just a late regular season hockey game. Tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres is more than a chance to clinch a playoff berth for the sixth straight season. Tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres is more than a chance to regain the Northeast Division lead from the Montreal Canadiens, who are in action tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres is another chance for the city of Boston to heal wounds that are still fresh from the horrific events during Monday’s Boston Marathon. And the Boston Bruins hope to help the healing process.
“The right thing to do is play the best game that you can tonight,” head coach Claude Julien said after today’s morning skate. “We have the ability to help people smile again. You fight internally between your emotions and your focus. The best that we can do is focus and try to help the city heal.”
No doubt, emotions will be running high for this one. From extra security, to Rene Rancourt’s national anthem, to the opening faceoff and the final buzzer, the 17,565 strong at TD Garden will try to come together to heal and support the Black and Gold.
Gametime: 7:30 p.m.
Location: TD Garden
TV/Radio: NBC Sports Network/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins (26-11-4, 56 points), Sabres (18-19-6, 42 points)
Bruins’ projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Gregory Campbell-David Krejci-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Nathan Horton
Milan Lucic-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Wade Redden
Dennis Seidenberg-Johnny Boychuk
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Sabres’ projected lines
Tyler Ennis-Cody Hodgson-Thomas Vanek
Steve Ott-Kevin Porter-Brian Flynn
John Scott-Marcus Foligno-Drew Stafford
Nathan Gerber-Jochen Hecht-Patrick Kaleta
Christian Ehrhoff-Andrej Sekera
Adam Pardy-Mark Pysyk
Mike Weber-Chad Ruhwedel
Bruins to watch
Since they are both returning to the lineup tonight from their concussions, lets watch Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Bergeron returns from his fourth concussion and its safe to say that he’s in good spirits, while Marchand returns after taking an elbow from Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov last Wednesday.
After passing their protocols, Marchand and Bergeron will reunite with Tyler Seguin, and the timing couldn’t have been any better for No. 19, who has goals in each of his last three games. With Bergeron’s two-way presence, Marchand’s nose for the net and Seguin’s playmaking ability, Bruins fans will be glad to see the team’s best line return.
Sabres to watch
Even when the Sabres aren’t doing well, Thomas Vanek is still a Bruins killer. In 48 career games against the Black and Gold, the former Minnesota Golden Gopher has 54 points (28 goals, 26 assists) and torched the B’s in the first matchup of the season tallying five points (three goals, two assists), in the team’s 7-4 victory at the end of January. With the Bruins defense struggling, Vanek could have his way again in his 49th career game against Boston.
CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty has an excellent take on how the Bruins want to help the healing process.
For more information on how to donate to the Marathon victims, visit The One Fund Boston.
Obviously, the Bruins weren’t the only ones hit hard by the bombings as evident by the strong New England presence for the Sabres, including former Boston College standout Nathan Gerbe, rookie defenseman Chad Ruhwedel and head coach Ron Rolston. (Mike Harrington/The Buffalo News)
Tweets of interest
Carl Soderberg appeared in his first practice as a member of the Black and Gold and switched off with Gregory Campbell on a line with Jaromir Jagr and David Krejci. Here’s a Twitpic from the Bruins’ account:
Carl Soderberg joins the Bruins out on the ice wearing the spoked-B for the first time…^CS twitter.com/NHLBruins/stat…
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 17, 2013
Here’s another Twitpic from the morning skate, this time from WCVB’s Mike Dowling:
— Mike Dowling (@MDowlingWCVB) April 17, 2013