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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 21st (All times eastern)

(3) Buffalo Sabres (1-2) at (6) Boston Bruins (2-1), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The third-seeded Buffalo Sabres will try to get their playoff run back on track tonight before they run out of time in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the rival Boston Bruins.

Meanwhile, the Bruins, who have won two straight after dropping the opener in Buffalo, will try to take a commanding three games to one lead in the best-of- seven series when they host the Northeast Division champions this evening in Game 4 at TD Garden.

Boston earned a split in Buffalo to begin this series and then notched a 2-1 victory in Game 3 on home ice. Patrice Bergeron's tally late in regulation was the difference for the sixth-seeded Bruins.

Dennis Wideman also tallied for the Bruins and Tuukka Rask continued his superb play by stopping 32 shots. Rask has yielded just six goals in the series so far, posting a strong .936 save percentage for Boston.

"We had a lot of energy throughout the game and it showed on the scoreboard," said Rask of playing in front of the home crowd.

Boston was not a good home team during the regular season, going just 18-17-6 at the Garden, but the Bruins hope to keep the momentum going on home ice tonight.

Meanwhile, Buffalo, which is back in the postseason for the first time since the spring of 2007, needs to find a way to win on the road or else face a 3-1 deficit heading into Friday's Game 5 test in Buffalo.

"The next game is a big game. We win that game and we go back into our building with the momentum," said Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff.

The Sabres had a solid 20-17-4 record as the road team during the regular season.

Mike Grier notched the lone score for the Sabres, who need to find a way to score without winger Thomas Vanek in the lineup. Vanek led the team with 28 goals this year, but suffered a foot injury in Game 2 and didn't play on Monday. Ruff has expressed hope that Vanek will return before the end of the series, but the Austrian sniper is not expected to play tonight.

Sabres forward Matt Ellis is also questionable tonight after suffering an upper-body injury while absorbing a hit from Boston's Johnny Boychuk in Game 3.

Ryan Miller was the hard-luck loser Monday after stopping 27-of-29 shots. Despite allowing four goals in Game 2, the Vezina Trophy finalist is still boasting a strong .929 save percentage in this series, stopping 91 of the 98 shots sent his way.

Boston won four of the six regular-season meetings between the clubs and the Bruins have also claimed five of their seven all-time playoff encounters against the Sabres.

04/21 11:09:10 ET


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