The Buffalo Sabres host the Boston Bruins this evening in the first game of a home-and-home series that will finish up on December 21. Tonight’s game marks the second meeting this season between the Buffalo Sabres and the Boston Bruins, with three more meetings still to come this season.
Currently, the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres sit at opposite ends of the Atlantic Division standings. The Bruins are at the top, with a 23-9-2 record and 48 points. At the other end of the spectrum, the Sabres are last, with 19 points and an 8-23-3 record. The Bruins have a +24 goal differential; the Sabres, a minus-39.
Regardless of the standings and how things may appear, tonight’s game could go either way. Both the Bruins and the Sabres are coming off recent victories, and both will look to get out of the home-and-home series with a full four points.
The Buffalo Sabres are coming off a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on December 17. That win marked the team’s first regulation win in the month of December and saw 12 different Sabres skaters notch at least one point. It was also the first time since early November that Buffalo managed to put up four goals in one game.
Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins are coming off a 2-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on December 17. The team has played seven games so far in the month of December and has won all but two, so they’re certainly a force to be reckoned with.
The Bruins may see the insertion of David Warsofsky into the lineup tonight. Warsofsky joins the team from the AHL’s Providence Bruins, where he has 16 points in 26 games, and is expected to make his NHL debut this evening against the Buffalo Sabres.
Adam McQuaid, who has been out with a lower body injury, skated this morning but will not play tonight for Boston. Other players likely to be missing from the lineup include Loui Eriksson, who is out with a concussion, Dougie Hamilton, Chris Kelly and former Buffalo Sabres forward Daniel Paille.
Shawn Thornton will also miss tonight’s game as he continues to serve his 15-game suspension.
For the Buffalo Sabres, Ryan Miller is expected to be in net for tonight’s game. It’s unclear at this point whether or not John Scott will be put into the lineup, thought it seems to be a possibility according to head coach Ted Nolan. Scott may be inserted as a forward or defenseman, as he has been practicing on the blueline lately and anything is a possibility at this point.
Cody McCormick will miss tonight’s game, as he is on IR with an upper body injury.
The Boston Bruins wone the lone meeting of the season to date, capturing a 5-2 victory at the First Niagara Center on October 23 in a game that saw the Sabres put up just 16 shots.
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov – who is presently working with the Russian WJC team – scored his first NHL goal in the loss. Cody Hodgson also tallied for Buffalo, while Ryan Miller had 29 saves. For the Bruins, Milan Lucic and Torey Krug had a pair of goals each, with Dougie Hamilton also adding a goal. Chad Johnson had 14 saves.
Tonight’s game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Boston Bruins – the first half of the home-and-home series – begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available for tonight’s game and can be purchased here.