Here’s your Boston Hockey Now Boston Bruins Game Day Preview:
Boston Bruins (28-4-3, 59 pts) @ Buffalo Sabres (17-14-2, 36 pts)
TIME: 1:00 P.M. ET
TV: NESN, MSG Network
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
The Boston Bruins will be aiming to not look past their final opponent prior to suiting up against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park on Monday afternoon. That final team of the 2022 calendar year is the Buffalo Sabres in a Saturday afternoon matinee at TD Garden, the final challenge prior to getting ready for the outdoor game on Lansdowne Street.
“It’s a big game. Buffalo played us really tight and hard last time we played there it was really tight,” said Trent Frederic. “I think everyone’s got their families in town and stuff like that. To make everything better on the weekend, we obviously want to win both those games.”
Certainly they looked ready for a big game entering the building on Saturday.
The Eve arrival. 🎩 pic.twitter.com/6xP1B0SLIb
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 31, 2022
It shouldn’t be an opponent that the Boston Bruins overlook because A) it’s a divisional rival and B) the Sabres are within eight points of a playoff spot and hanging around as a possible wild card entry while building up their youthful roster.
This is not your father’s Buffalo Sabres.
Boston Bruins Notes
–Tomas Nosek will miss his second straight game with an undisclosed injury and Trent Frederic will again center the fourth line for the Black and Gold. Frederic scored a goal in Wednesday night’s win over the New Jersey Devils and played well even if he was a bit rusty in the face-off circle.
-Bruins winger David Pastrnak had an 11-game point streak snapped in the shootout loss to the Senators, but got another one started with an assist on Charlie Coyle’s empty netter in Wednesday night’s win over the Devils.
-Boston Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman is such a big fan of his old time hockey Winter Classic goalie pads that he may keep playing with them beyond the outdoor game, which would be a welcome development for B’s fans that like the look. Speaking of Swayman, he’ll get the start for the Bruins against Buffalo and is 2-1-2 with a .902 save percentage during the month of December.
Buffalo Sabres Notes
-The red-hot Buffalo Sabres are riding a five-game winning streak that’s given them some hope for the second half of the season that they will be in the playoff hunt. It’s the opposite of Buffalo’s former trajectory where they start off well and then begin to tail off as the grind of the season began to impact them. It should be an offensive showdown with the Bruins and Sabres as two of the most productive offenses in the NHL behind only the Edmonton Oilers.
-The Sabres are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games against the Boston Bruins.
-Kyle Okposo is riding a three-game point streak and is coming off his first hat trick since 2016 while adding some veteran oomph to Buffalo’s scoring in their 6-3 win over the Red Wings.
Boston Bruins Lineup:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jake DeBrusk
Pavel Zacha-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall-Charlie Coyle-Trent Craig Smith
Nick Foligno-Trent Frederic-AJ Greer
Hampus Lindholm-Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk-Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort-Connor Clifton
Buffalo Sabres Lineup:
Jeff Skinner-Tage Thompson-Alex Tuch
JJ Peterka-Dylan Cozens-Jack Quinn
Casey Mittelstadt-Tyson Jost-Victor Olofsson
Zemgus Girgensons-Peyton Krebs-Kyle Okposo
Mattias Samuelsson-Rasmus Dahlin
Owen Power-Kale Clague
Jacob Bryson-Ilya Lyubushkin