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  • Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Sabres


    Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Sabres

    Chris Chirichiello March 17, 2015

    The Boston Bruins saw their winning streak come to an end Sunday night at the Verizon Center where the Washington Capitals dominated Claude Julien’s team in a 2-0 victory.

    It was an awfully slow start for Boston, but it was the second night of a back-to-back as well as their third game in four nights.

    Tuukka Rask was yet again sensational even in the loss turning away 36 of 38 shots fired at him. The B’s couldn’t muster any offense all night largely due to the newest “Bruins killer”, Braden Holtby. The 25-year old Caps goalie hasn’t allowed a goal versus them in two games this season while the last goal he surrendered to Boston was on March 29, 2014 by Patrice Bergeron.

    Boston’s streak of scoring first in 11 straight games was snapped thanks to the rocket power-play goal by Capitals John Carlson. But that is in the past now as the B’s will quickly turn their attention to the lowly Buffalo Sabres.

    The last time these two teams met it was actually a competitive game with the B’s outlasting the Sabres 4-3 in overtime. This wasn’t the only time the Sabres gave the hometown team trouble though. On October 30th, it took the B’s another overtime period to take care of Buffalo by a score of 3-2. Two weeks before that, Boston won pretty handedly in a 4-0 rout.

    Regardless, the B’s are clicking at the right time and the Sabres should pose no threat on Tuesday night. Buffalo is coming to town losers of seven in a row, but did give the Capitals a run for their money on Monday night.

    Here is your complete Bruins-Sabres preview:

    Gametime: 7:30 PM
    Records: Bruins 36-23-10 (82 points)/Sabres 19-44-6 (44 points)
    TV/Radio: NBCSN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
    Location: TD Garden

    Bruins’ projected lines:

    Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
    Milan Lucic-Ryan Spooner-David Pastrnak
    Chris Kelly-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
    Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Max Talbot

    Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
    Dennis Seidenberg-Matt Bartkowski
    Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

    Niklas Svedberg
    Tuukka Rask

    Sabres’ projected lines:

    Matt Moulson-Johan Larsson-Tyler Ennis
    Marcus Foligno-Phil Varone-Brian Gionta
    Nicolas Deslauriers-Cody Hodgson-Tim Schaller
    Jerry D’Amigo-Matt Ellis-Zac Dalpe

    Mike Weber-Rasmus Ristolainen
    Chad Ruhwedel-Nikita Zadorov
    Andre Benoit-Tyson Strachan

    Andres Lindback
    Matthew Hackett

    Who to watch for Bruins: Carl Soderberg

    If there was ever a game to get Soderberg back on track, one would have to think it is against the last place Sabres.

    Soderberg has been a shell of himself for quite sometime. In Sunday night’s game against the Capitals, the Swedish center only managed one shot on net in over 20 minutes of play. It’s been exactly two months since he last scored a goal on January 17th, a span of 24 games. He has just five assists during that same span.

    The 29 year-old has just 10 goals in 69 games and only 35 points. Soderberg needs to get a jump start for the stretch run and what better way to do that then to score a few goals against the Sabres.

    It may not be that easy though. In eight career games against the Sabres, Soderberg has just one goal, but does have six assists. At the very least, Soderberg should regain some confidence Tuesday night, but he has to shoot the puck more.

    Who to watch for Sabres: Tyler Ennis

    One of the lonely bright spots for the Sabres has been Ennis. The 25 year-old leads the team with 37 points including 17 goals and 20 assists. He also has five power-play goals.

    In his last five games, Ennis has two goals, two assists and a plus-1 rating. He has been averaging right around 20 minutes over that span.

    In the last meeting with the Black and Gold, Ennis had an assist, two penalty minutes, three shots on net and played over 22 minutes. This is one player to keep an eye on Tuesday night, but he’s certainly no Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby.

    Game Day Edge: Build a lead

    There is nothing worse than falling behind and playing catch up hockey especially against the Sabres. The B’s need to score the first goal and set the tone early as they have over the past month.

    Keeping the game close only bodes well for the Sabres because they have nothing to lose. If the B’s get a power-play, they need to capitalize. Most importantly, their start needs to be a lot better than it was at the Verizon Center two nights ago.

    Sure, the Sabres have played the B’s tough the last two times, but on paper this game shouldn’t be remotely close.

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