Bruins try to stay hot against visiting Sabres
The Boston Bruins and their red-hot offense will shoot for a fifth straight victory tonight, when the streaking Buffalo Sabres visit TD Garden for a Northeast Division showdown.
After a 3-7-0 start to the season, Boston has begun to look like defending Stanley Cup champions with four consecutive wins to begin November. The Bruins, who are known more for strong defense and goaltending, have scored five or more goals in every game during the hot streak and are outscoring the opposition by a 24-8 margin in the last four outings.
Boston has scored six times in each of its last two games and is coming off Thursday's 6-3 home win over the Edmonton Oilers. Brad Marchand scored twice and Tyler Seguin added a goal and an assist to lift the B's to the win.
Milan Lucic, Jordan Caron and Johnny Boychuk also lit the lamp for the Bruins, who hadn't won back-to-back games this year before putting together their current win streak. Boston last won four in a row during a seven-game winning streak from Feb. 17-March 3 of last season.
Seguin and Lucic both enter tonight's tilt riding five-game point streaks and each player has six goals and two assists over that span.
Tuukka Rask has started each of the club's last two games and stopped 27-of-30 shots to get the win against Edmonton, but Boston's No. 1 goaltender Tim Thomas is expected to be back between the pipes tonight.
"You've got to allow him to get on a roll a little bit. Get him close to the best he can be," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien of dusting off his backup netminder for two straight games.
Tonight marks the third segment of a five-game homestand for Boston, which is 5-5-0 on home ice this season. The B's will host New Jersey on Tuesday before completing the residency Thursday against Columbus.
The Bruins have played the last two games without Rich Peverley, who is questionable tonight with an undisclosed injury. Defenseman Andrew Ference is battling a lower body injury and is also questionable for tonight. Daniel Paille is expected to miss Saturday's tilt after breaking his nose Monday against the New York Islanders.
Buffalo, meanwhile, has won four straight games and is coming off Friday's rout of the visiting Ottawa Senators. Jhonas Enroth stopped 36 shots and stayed unbeaten this season as the Sabres defeated the Senators, 5-1. Derek Roy netted a goal and had two assists in the win.
Jordan Leopold, Ville Leino, Matt Ellis and Luke Adam also netted goals and Drew Stafford added three assists for Buffalo.
"There was a lot better job with the puck, we supported it well, we played a smart efficient game," Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff said.
Enroth moved to 5-0-0 in six games this year, but No. 1 goaltender Ryan Miller should be back in the crease this evening. Miller is 5-5-0 on the year, but is 20-5-7 with a 2.62 goals-against average in 32 career games against Boston.
Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta is eligible to return from a four-game suspension tonight. Kaleta received the ban for head-butting Philadelphia's Jakub Voracek on Nov. 2.
This evening's test marks the first of two straight on the road for Buffalo, which is 5-1-0 as the visiting team this season. The Sabres will also visit Montreal on Monday.
Buffalo ended Boston's three-game win streak in this series by winning the last four of six meetings between the clubs last year. The Sabres have taken two in a row and three of their last five in Boston.