The Bruins are back home, hosting the Buffalo Sabres for the 7th and penultimate time this season. It will be broadcast on NESN+, MSG-B and SportsNet-360.
Last time in Bruins Hockey…
The Bruins were playing the Pens, at the PPG Paints Arena, for their last contest against that team for the (regular) season. After struggling a but in a less physical game, the Bruins were more focused and more physical this time around, making more shots, more hits, blocking more shots, and winning more faceoffs. The Bruins would win this game 3-1, with goals by David Krejci, Taylor Hall & Brad Marchand, but allowing a bit of a snipe late in the 3rd period from Jeff Carter, that would spoil the shutout.
The Bruins are now at 28-14-6 which still has them at 4th in the MassMutual East division, 6 points behind the Caps, 5 points behind the Penguins, 1 back from the Isles, and 4 ahead of the Rangers.
They are also 3rd in the division via points percentage with a total of .646, placing them marginally ahead of the Islanders.
Boston has 8 games remaining in the season, including tonight’s match. The other division contenders have only 6 or 7.
What will be the lines today?
Well they’re trying some new things on the bottom six forwards so that’s a touch unexpected.
The Injury Report: Ondrej Kaše is skating, Brandon Carlo has been out with an upper-body injury, but lead the warmup at practice today. He’ll be out tonight, but may return next week.
Right wing Craig Smith had a COVID testing issue and is questionable to play tonight.
Cliffy Hockey is getting another game in at Steve Kampfer’s expense.
Trent Frederic returned to the ice on Tuesday night, and should return to the ice tonight. Coyle played last game at wing with Sean Kuraly at center. Jake DeBrusk got a night off on Tuesday to ponder what he has (not) done. He may have to come back tonight to play in Smith’s stead. Ritchie spent some time on the 4th line at practice – don’t be surprised if he and T-Freddy swap lines for some shifts tonight.
Tuukka Rask will start in goal tonight, with Jaroslav Halak as his backup. Jeremy Swayman gets the night off.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#40 Tuukka Rask||(#41 Jaroslav Halak)|
This evening’s opponent are the Buffalo Sabres, who the Bruins have beaten five times out of six. The Sabres are no longer playing like the worst team in the league, though they have not pulled themselves out of the bottom of the standings.
Jack Eichel is out for the season after having missed most of it due to injury. Colin Miller looks like still out, having been replaced with William Borgen on the Sabres’ defense. Rookie goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will start in net again. They managed to beat the Bruins 6-4 in their last matchup, but that was a Bruins team that was missing their #1 center and had forward lines jumbled. That should not be the case tonight. (h/t Daily Faceoff):
#53 Jeff Skinner — #23 Sam Reinhart — #68 Victor Olofsson
#74 Rasmus Asplund — #37 Casey Mittelstadt — #25 Arttu Ruotsalainen
#96 Anders Bjork — #24 Dylan Cozens — #91 Drake Caggiula
#13 Tobias Rieder — #38 Riley Sheahan — #72 Tage Thompson
#54 Mattias Samuelsson — #55 Rasmus Ristolainen
#26 Rasmus Dahlin — #10 Henri Jokiharju
#78 Jacob Bryson — #3 William Borgen
#1 Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen
(#31 Dustin Tokarski)
Referees: #11 Kelly Sutherland — #15 Jean Hebert
Linesmen: #81 Ryan Daisy — #60 Libor Suchanek
(as usual, h/t Scouting the Refs)