Game Day Thread: Bruins @ Sabres

Bruins vs Hot Wings

The Bruins are at the TD Garden, hosting the Buffalo Sabres to face them for the last time this season. It will be broadcast on NESN, MSG-B, NHL Network, including NHL.tv and SportsNet.


Last time in Bruins Hockey…

The Bruins were playing the Sabres, at home, the Bruins scored first, but kept making turnovers allowing Buffalo to hang around. Good goaltending kept them in the game more than good play on the ice. It wasn’t until the 3rd period that the Bruins would take command of the game, starting with a long-awaited Charlie Coyle goal. The ice started to tilt toward Boston after that, with David Krejci bending space & time to get a net-front pass to Taylor Hall for a score. Buffalo would go empty net to try and make up a 2 goal deficit, with Connor Clifton going to the sin bin for a 6-on-4 but Marchy would have none of it, sailing a puck into the top of the net from the top of the faceoff circle – in the defensive zone!


This sealed a 5-2 victory.

The Bruins are now at 29-14-6 which still has them at 4th in the MassMutual East division, 5 points behind the Caps and Penguins, 1 back from the Isles, and 6 ahead of the Rangers.
They are also 3rd in the division via points percentage with a total of .653, placing them marginally ahead of the Islanders.
Boston has 7 games remaining in the season, including today’s match. The other division contenders have only 5 or 6. They all play each other tonight. The Rags have 5 games remaining to make up the 6 point gap with the Bruins. They can reach a maximum of 68 standings points and 30 ROW if they win out. The Bruins have 64 standings points and 25 ROW, so they need to win >2 games to clinch a playoff spot. (So at least 3 wins or 2 wins and an OT loss will do it for them). Philly is officially out, so a Rags loss in regulation is as good a a Bruins win for purposes of clinching. The Bruins & Rangers play 2x more this season.


What will be the lines today?

Well there is still a little movement with the forward lines.

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 Chris Wagner had a maintnance day yesterday and is unlikely to play today.

Cliffy Hockey is in. If pre-game skate is any indication, Jeremy Lauzon will get sent back up with Charlie McAvoy.

Charlie Coyle will again play at wing with Sean Kuraly at center. Trent Frederic has been playing on the left wing of the 3rd line. Jake DeBrusk has been a healthy scratch all week – he is rumored to be coming back, pushing T-Freddy back to the 9th floor. Nick Ritchie seems to be finding his way on the 4th line, and Karson Kuhlman will be Wagner’s replacement.

Jeremy Swayman gets the start, with Jaroslav Halak as his backup.
Tuukka Rask gets the day off.

Bruins Forward Lines
Brad Marchand

Brad Marchand

Patrice Bergeron

Patrice Bergeron

David Pastrnak

David Pastrnak

Taylor Hall

#71 Taylor Hall

David Krejci

David Krejci

#12 Craig Smith

Craig Smith

#21 Nick Ritchie

Nick Ritchie

Sean Kuraly

Sean Kuraly

Charlie Coyle

Charlie Coyle

Jake DeBrusk

Jake DeBrusk

Curtis Lazar

#6 Curtis Lazar

Karson Kuhlman

Karson Kuhlman

Bruins Defensive pairs

Jeremy Lauzon

Charlie McAvoy

Charlie McAvoy

Matt Grzelcyk

Matt Grzelcyk

Kevan Miller

Kevan Miller

Mike Reilly

#6 Mike Reilly

Connor Clifton

Connor Clifton

Bruins Goaltending
#1 Jeremy Swayman (#41 Jaroslav Halak)


Today, the Bruins face the Buffalo Sabres, who the Bruins have beaten six times out of seven, usually in games that were closer than they needed to be. The Sabres are playing reasonably well, but are unlikely to leave the bottom of the standings.
Jack Eichel is out for the season after having missed most of it due to injury. Colin Miller and Matt Irwin are healthy scratches on the Sabres’ defense. Rookie goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will start in net again. (h/t the good folks at NHL.com):

Sabres Forwards
#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

Sabres Defense
#54 Mattias Samuelsson — #55 Rasmus Ristolainen
#26 Rasmus Dahlin — #10 Henri Jokiharju
#78 Jacob Bryson — #3 William Borgen

Sabres Goaltending
#1 Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen
(#31 Dustin Tokarski)

Officiating
Referees: #37 Pierre Lambert — #15 Jean Hebert
Linesmen: #81 Ryan Daisy — #60 Libor Suchanek
(as usual, h/t Scouting the Refs)

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