NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, April 23rd (All times eastern)
(6) Boston Bruins (3-1) at (3) Buffalo Sabres (1-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The sixth-seeded Boston Bruins will try to complete a first-round upset tonight, when they visit the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
The Bruins have won three straight in this series following a series-opening loss in Buffalo. Boston moved within one win of the conference semifinals following a thrilling double-overtime victory on home ice in Game 4.
Boston is 14-1 all-time when holding a three games to one lead in a best-of- seven series. The club's only collapse came in the 2004 conference quarterfinals when Montreal won the final three games to oust the Bruins in seven.
The third-seeded Sabres will try to stave off elimination tonight or else get unceremoniously bounced from their first trip to the postseason since they made it to the conference finals in the spring of 2007. Buffalo is 0-11 all- time in series after trailing 3-1.
Boston won Game 4 by a 3-2 score on Miroslav Satan's power-play tally at 7:41 of the second overtime at TD Garden. The Sabres were whistled for a too many men on the ice penalty at the 5:50 mark and Boston converted in the closing seconds of the man advantage.
Michael Ryder carried down the right wing and from the outer edge of the right circle fed back into the slot for Satan. The veteran winger skated in alone, pulled Ryan Miller out of position and slid a backhander through traffic for the game-winner. Miller played well in defeat, making 36 stops.
David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron helped force overtime by netting third- period scores for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask was strong in net with 35 saves.
"It's really exciting," Rask said. "I thought both teams had chances there. At that point, it's anybody's game, and one play makes the difference. Today, we got the break."
Tim Kennedy and Steve Montador provided the offense for the Northeast Division champion Sabres, who were playing their second straight game without star winger Thomas Vanek.
"It's just disappointing, there's not much to say," said Sabres forward Drew Stafford. "We had our chances; Ryan played spectacular, gave us a chance. Even with (Boston) coming back, we still had a lot of chances. It's just unfortunate."
Vanek, who led the team with 28 goals this year, is expected to be a game-time decision tonight with the left foot injury he suffered in Game 2. He is listed as doubtful for Game 5.
Boston was a better team on the road than at home this year, posting a 21-13-7 record away from Beantown. Buffalo had a strong 25-10-6 record at HSBC Arena during the regular season.
The Bruins won four of the six regular-season meetings between the clubs and Boston has also claimed five of its seven all-time playoff encounters against the Sabres.
04/23 10:45:50 ET