(Editor’s note: Don’t forget to check out “On the Ice with the 4SportBoston Podcast” LIVE tonight at 10 p.m. EST! We will be taking your calls live on the show and we will have Mark Marino from The Hub of Hockey (and 4SB game previews) and Joe Gill from Boston Sports Then and Now joining Chas, Craig, Jawz and some of your other favorite Bruins bloggers for the show!)
Tonight – at 7:00pm EST at the HSBC Arena – will mark the 276th all-time meeting between the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres. The Bruins hold a 112-102-29-5 record over the Sabres, but Buffalo edging out Boston in the scoring department, 808-803.
The Black-and-Gold will be looking for back-to-back victories tonight for the first time since Dec. 30 – Jan. 1. Meanwhile the Sabres have lost four in a row – which ties their season-high. This will be the fourth of six meetings betweent these two Northeast Division rivals. Boston has the 2-1-0 edge thus far with a 7-5 scoring advantage.
Home Team: Buffalo Sabres (32-18-7, 71 points, 1st Northeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 18-7-5 at home, 2-7-1 last 10)
Jochen Hecht – Tim Connolly – Jason Pominville
Thomas Vanek – Derek Roy – Drew Stafford
Clarke MacArthur – Paul Gaustad – Mike Grier
Matt Ellis – Adam Mair – Steve Montador
Henrik Tallinder – Tyler Myers
Toni Lydman – Craig Rivet
Chris Butler – Andrej Sekera
PP1: Tim Connolly, Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek, Tyler Myers, Chris Butler
PP2: Derek Roy, Drew Stafford, Paul Gaustad, Craig Rivet, Andrej Sekera
Healthy Scratches: Patrick Kaleta, Tim Kennedy, Nathan Paetsch
Ryan Miller: is 0-3-0 in his last three starts with a 4.00 goals-against average and a .876 save-percentage
Tim Connolly: is point-less in his last two games, after registering at least one point in 19 of 20 prior.
Thomas Vanek: 2-3-5 in his last five
Jason Pominville: 1-3-4 in his last four contests
Drew Stafford: 2-1-3 in his last four games
Patrick Lalime: [3-3-2, .896 SV%, 3.21 GAA] started Buffalo’s last game between the pipes – a 4-0 shutout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
Sabres Edge: “After sitting out as a healthy scratch Saturday in Columbus, rookie Tim Kennedy will be back in the Sabres’ lineup for tonight’s game against Boston in HSBC Arena.”…”Defenseman Steve Montador, who tweaked his hip Saturday, will join Elils and Nathan Paetsch on the scratch list but Ruff said he’s hoping Montador will be available Thursday.”
Away Team: Boston Bruins (24-22-11, 59 points, 4th Northeast Division, 9th Eastern Conference, 11-10-5 away, 1-6-3 last 10)
Daniel Paille Marc Savard Miro Satan
Marco Sturm Patrice Bergeron Mark Recchi
Blake Wheeler David Krejci Michael Ryder
Milan Lucic Steve Begin Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara Dennis Wideman
Matt Hunwick Derek Morris
Andrew Ference Adam McQuaid
PP1: Marco Sturm, Marc Savard, Blake Wheeler, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron,
PP2: Mark Recchi, David Krejci, Michael Ryder, Dennis Wideman, Derek Morris
IR: Mark Stuart [finger]
Marco Sturm: netted his team-high 18th goal in Montreal on Sunday. Sturm has 3-1-4 in his last five games
Marc Savard: 0-6-6 in five of his last six games
Michael Ryder: 1-1-2 in three of his last four.
Patrice Bergeron: is riding a two-game point streak with 0-3-3 over that span
Zdeno Chara: is also in the midst of a two-game scoring streak with 1-1-2 totals
Tuukka Rask has started the last three games for the Boston Bruins, posting a 1-0-2 record with a remarkable .957 save-percentage and a goals-against average south of 1.40. After an optional skate in Buffalo last night, Julien had this to say of the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, Tim Thomas.
“He’s a team guy” Julien said of Thomas. “It’s not about going after any individual it’s about doing the best thing for the team. If the goaltender right now [Rask] is playing well, then, so be it. Everybody knows he’s [Thomas] a good goaltender. He’s proven it over and over again. Right now I don’t think his game is where it was when he was at his best, and we’re trying to get him there…it’s a team effort.”
Tuukka Rask was the first off the ice this morning, indicating that he will start between the pipes tonight.
See more work like this from Mark Marino at The Hub of Hockey.