The Boston Bruins (23-7-9, 55 points) and Buffalo Sabres (17-15-7, 41 points) conclude a home-and-home series tonight when they face off at TD Garden. It is the third meeting of the season between the teams. The Bruins have won both, including the last meeting at TD Garden on November 21st.
Puck drop is at 7:00 pm on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Krug, McAvoy Remain Out
Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy will both miss their second consecutive games with upper-body injuries. Both were injured in the Bruins victory over the Washington Capitals on Monday night. Krug is out through at least Tuesday’s game in New Jersey and currently on IR. McAvoy, meanwhile, is not on IR and is listed as day-to-day.
Krug skated alone earlier this morning at Warrior Ice Arena, while McAvoy did not skate today.
Krug missed roughly two weeks of action for the Bruins earlier this season with an injury. He was hurt in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on November 10th and did not return until the 23rd against the Minnesota Wild. That injury, suffered after a hit from Claude Giroux, was also classified as an upper-body injury.
Steven Kampfer was recalled to replace Krug on the active roster. He will play his second straight game tonight.
The Bruins are 2-0-0 against the Sabres this season, including Friday’s victory. They know they will face a hungry opponent tonight looking for some revenge.
“They want some revenge from last game. That’s one of the cool parts about home and homes, it’s right back into the fire playing against the same team twice in a row. Should be a fun game. It will be competitive, and I think we respond really well to that. I’m excited,” Anders Bjork told the club’s official website.
Friday’s victory was a milestone night for Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who collected his 50th career shutout. He credited the depth of an injured Bruins team in that key divisional victory.
“That’s why we have such good depth on our team,” said Halak. “If guys are out of the lineup, guys step in and do the job. I thought for the most part, we kept it simple in our zone. When we had a chance, we broke the puck out really well through the neutral zone.”
The Bruins will be running a makeshift defense once again tonight against the Sabres. They’ll need to keep it simple again.
In addition to Krug and McAvoy, Karson Kuhlman is also out tonight. He’s been nursing a right tibia fracture since October 19th. Kuhlman is progressing, however, and has been taking part in practice with the club.
“Getting better, kind of taking it day by day right now,” said Kuhlman. “But definitely progressing in the right way. Being off the ice for such a long time, it takes a little bit to get the cardio back. But I thought we did a great job in the weight room and also progressing on the ice here to help me get back to 100 [percent] as quick as I can.”
Winger Anton Blidh, who required surgery to his right shoulder during the preseason, also practiced with the team on Saturday and is likely to follow a similar path as Kuhlman.
Boston Bruins Lines
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Danton Heinen
Anders Bjork – Charlie Coyle – Brett Ritchie
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Connor Clifton
John Moore – Steven Kampfer
Lineup is subject to change. Bruce Cassidy confirmed that Rask is the starter tonight, and also confirmed that Ritchie will replace Par Lindholm in the lineup. Sean Kuraly returns to the middle and will once again center the fourth line. David Backes is scratched up front.
Buffalo Sabres Lines
Victor Olofsson – Jack Eichel – Kyle Okposo
Marcus Johansson – Johan Larsson – Sam Reinhart
Zemgus Girgensons – Curtis Lazar – Evan Rodrigues
Jimmy Vesey – Rasmus Asplund – Conor Sheary
Jake McCabe – Rasmus Ristolainen
Marco Scandella – Zach Bogosian
Rasmus Dahlin – Colin Miller
Jeff Skinner is out 3-4 weeks with an upper-body injury that he suffered in Friday’s loss at home. Marco Scandella, who missed Friday’s game with an illness, returns on the blueline for the Sabres. Ullmark makes the start once again.