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Game 45: Boston Bruins @ Buffalo Sabres, Lines, Preview

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Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins (26-12-6, 58 points) will look to extend their win streak to six games as they play the second game of a three-game set against the Buffalo Sabres (12-27-7, 31 pts) in Buffalo.

For the first two periods of their 2-0 win over the Sabres on Tuesday night, the Boston Bruins stayed true to their plan and respected the Sabres regardless of their record. In the third period, however, the Bruins took their foot off the pedal and Tuukka Rask (32 saves) had to bail his team out to preserve the win.

“I didn’t like our third period at all,” Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the game. “I thought we lost our discipline. We gave up chances and relied on our goaltender [too much]. I didn’t think we played very well, and I didn’t think they were great early on either.”

Luckily for the Bruins, they will likely get another strong goaltending performance as rookie Jeremy Swayman will look to continue his brilliant start to his NHL career. Swayman, 4-1-0 with a 1.78 GAA and .938 save percentage, will get the nod between the pipes for the B’s tonight in Buffalo.

Bruins Notes

-Defensemen Steven Kampfer will draw back into the lineup tonight for rearguard Jakub Zboril who will be a healthy scratch.

-Defenseman Kevan Miller is on the trip with the Bruins and on Thursday, Cassidy told the media Miller could be back in the lineup tomorrow night against the Sabres.

“Looking really good for tomorrow,” Cassidy said of Miller, who has missed the last four games with cellulitis from a foot infection that left him hospitalized.

Fellow rearguard Brandon Carlo and forward Ondrej Kase remained home recovering from upper-body injuries and are still listed as week-to-week.

-Goalie Jaro Halak is off the NHL COVID Protocol list and on the trip but a timetable for a return to action is still uncertain. Cassidy told the media Tuesday morning that he’s hoping to get Halak back between the pipes in one of the next three games but there is a good chance that doesn’t happen and Jeremy Swayman and Rask split the four games.

-This is the fifth of eight games against the Sabres for the Boston Bruins. They play their longtime rivals in Buffalo on Friday too, and then April 29 and May 1 in Boston. After going 3-0-0 against the Sabres last season, the Bruins are now 4-0-0 against their normal Atlantic Division and old Adams Division rivals.

–The Bruins’ powerplay went 0-for-4 on Tuesday. They are now 29-for-136 on the man advantage this season. They’re 11th in the NHL with a 21.3% success rate.

-The PK killed off all six of the Sabres’ powerplays on Tuesday. They remain the best in the NHL with an 86.3% success rate. They’ve killed off 131 of 153 powerplay attempts against them this season.

Sabres Notes

-Sabres captain and Chelmsford, MA native Jack Eichel is set to have neck surgery and is out for the season. Sabres left winger Zemgus Girgensons is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury. Forward Kyle Okposo recently suffered a facial injury that will keep him out for the remainder of the season. On the blue line, defensemen Will Borgen is out until mid-April with an arm injury, and Jake McCabe is gone for the season with a knee injury. Between the pipes, Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark are day-to-day with lower-body injuries.

-The Sabres powerplay is ranked 15th in the NHL with a 20.3 % success rate. They’re 24-for-118 on the man advantage.

-The Sabres penalty kill has a 79 % success rate and is ranked 19th in the NHL. They’ve killed off 94 of 119 powerplay attempts against.

Boston Bruins Lines

Forwards:

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak

Taylor Hall – David Krejci – Craig Smith

Nick Ritchie – Charlie Coyle – Jake DeBrusk

Sean Kuraly – Curtis Lazar – Chris Wagner

Defense:

Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy

Mike Reilly – Connor Clifton

Jeremy Lauzon – Steven Kampfer

Goalies:

Tuukka Rask

Jeremy Swayman

 

Buffalo Sabres Lines

Forwards:

Jeff Skinner – Sam Reinhart – Victor Olofsson

Rasmus Asplund – Casey Mittelstadt – Tage Thompson

Anders Bjork – Dylan Cozens – Arttu Ruotsalainen

Tobias Reider-Riley Sheahan-Drake Calligua

Defense:

Mattias Samuelsson- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin-Henri Jokiharju

Jacob Bryson – Colin Miller

Goalies:

Dustin Tokarski

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

 

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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