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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, January 20th (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (20-20-5) at Boston Bruins (26-13-7), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins will aim for their sixth victory in seven games when they welcome the Buffalo Sabres for tonight's Northeast Division clash at TD Garden.

The first-place Bruins have won two straight and five of six and they have suffered just one regulation loss in the last seven games (5-1-1). The recent surge has helped put Boston three points ahead of Montreal for the division lead.

Boston is coming off a home-and-home sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes, who were destroyed, 7-0, at TD Garden on Monday before dropping a close 3-2 game the following night in Raleigh.

Tim Thomas stopped 43-of-45 shots in Tuesday's win at RBC Center and he turned aside all 19 shots sent his way in the second period.

"When all those shots started to add up in the second, I was aware of it, because physically, I could feel it," said Thomas.

Milan Lucic notched the game-winning goal on a third-period power play and Johnny Boychuk and Brad Marchand also tallied for the Bruins.

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is questionable for today's game with an upper-body injury that has caused him to miss Boston's last three games.

Boston has won three of its last four home games and is 12-8-3 as the host this season.

The Bruins and Sabres played a wild game when they last met in Buffalo on New Year's Day, as Tyler Ennis netted the winning goal in a 7-6 shootout victory for the home team. The Sabres and Bruins have split four meetings overall this season, but Boston has won four of seven and six of the last 10 encounters.

The Sabres have also dropped two straight and seven out of 10 in Boston.

Buffalo has won two of its last three games and is coming off Tuesday's dramatic victory over the visiting Canadiens. Jason Pominville's power-play goal at 1:09 of overtime lifted the Sabres to the 2-1 win.

Ennis scored Buffalo's regulation goal while Ryan Miller made 29 saves for the Sabres.

"We played an excellent game -- we played smart," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff.

Sabres forward Drew Stafford suffered a groin injury in the first period of Tuesday's game and he is expected to miss tonight's contest. Stafford is second on the team with 15 goals this season.

Buffalo, which is third in the Northeast and 14 points behind Boston, is 9-9-4 as the road club this year.

01/20 10:50:20 ET

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