Next up in our daily “season outlook” preview, we’ll take a look at the Buffalo Sabres vs. Boston Bruins matchup and how these teams may fare against each other this coming NHL season.
Unlike yesterday’s Anaheim Ducks preview, obviously there’s a lot more meat to this one, since Boston and Buffalo meet so frequently. The 2013-2014 NHL season will see the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres face each other five times, with the season series beginning in Buffalo at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 23 and concluding on Saturday, April 12 in Boston.
These five meetings are equal to the amount of times the teams saw each other during last year’s lockout-shortened season. Buffalo won three of the five matchups between the teams, beginning with a decisive 7-4 victory on January 31. That game saw Thomas Vanek score five points, including a hat trick. Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville each had three points, while Tyler Ennis had a pair of points as well. Ryan Miller had 36 saves in the win.
Boston would take the next game, a 3-1 win on February 10 that saw the Bruins put up 39 shots against the Sabres. Buffalo would come out victorious five days later by a score of 4-2, a game in which Tyler Ennis had a pair of assists and Christian Ehrhoff had a goal and an assist. Boston won the fourth meeting 2-0, with both David Krejci and Nathan Horton scoring a goal and assist each. Finally, the Sabres took a 3-2 shootout victory on April 17, with Thomas Vanek having a two-point night and Drew Stafford scoring the winning goal in the shootout.
Boston may have lost Jaromir Jagr, but the acquisition of Jarome Iginla will prove to be an interesting facet to their lineup this coming season. The Bruins also lost Andrew Ference and Nathan Horton; Horton put up 16 shots against the Sabres last season, scoring three points and notching four penalty minutes. Ference had six shots against Buffalo and scored two points in five games.
Another notable move by the Bruins was the trade of Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars. Seguin had 16 goals and 16 assists for 32 points in 48 games last season. He was second on the team in goals scoring and fifth in assists and was a plus-23 in the regular season. He had two assists against the Sabres last season.
Players to Watch:
- BOSTON: Newly-acquired Jarome Iginla will surely be a player to watch for the Bruins this season. Although he’s played the majority of his career in the Western Conference, he had two goals – both power play tallies – in a pair of games last season against Buffalo while with the Pittsburgh Penguins. In his career, Iginla has eight goals and four assists for 12 points in 20 career games against the Sabres. Sabres fans should also keep an eye on Patrice Bergeron, who has 27 points (8-19) in 46 games against Buffalo all-time, and Brad Marchand, who had 11 points in 18 games against the Sabres in his career.
- BUFFALO: Do I even have to say it? Of course Thomas Vanek is a player to watch against Boston – how could he NOT be after that five-point game last season? Including that game, Vanek had seven points in four games against the Bruins last year. Boston is apparently Vanek’s favorite team to play against – they’re the team he’s scored the most points against (56) in his NHL career.
Meetings This Season:
- October 23 @ BUF
- December 19 @ BUF
- December 21 @ BOS
- February 26 @ BUF
- April 12 @ BOS