NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, March 8th (All times Eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (31-28-8) at Boston Bruins (39-23-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Sabres are once again in a position to grab a share of the Eastern Conference's final playoff berth. In order to do their part to make that happen, they'll have to prevent the Northeast Division-leading Bruins from putting together their first winning streak in almost two months.
Buffalo looks to best Boston for the seventh time in the past nine meetings in tonight's encounter.
The Sabres missed a chance to pull even with the eighth-place Jets on Monday, dropping a 3-1 decision in Winnipeg. That dropped Buffalo four points back of the final playoff position, but it cut that deficit in half with a 3-2 victory over Carolina last night in overtime.
The Sabres haven't been part of the playoff picture since they were tied for the seventh seed on Dec. 19. That would change this evening with a win over the Bruins and loss by the Jets to the Canucks. The Capitals are also two points behind the eighth spot and they host the Lightning this evening.
Buffalo had an eight-game point streak (6-0-2) end with the loss to Winnipeg, but Jason Pominville's winner on Wednesday 56 seconds into the extra frame during a 4-on-3 power play got it right back into the win column.
Tyler Myers and Thomas Vanek also tallied goals for the Sabres, who got 22 saves from Ryan Miller.
"I think you create opportunities by getting pucks to the net and we were able to do that tonight,' said Pominville.
The Sabres dropped their first two games versus the Bruins this year, one on the road and one at home, but have rebounded with a pair of victories in Buffalo to give them victories in six of the past eight encounters.
Boston will try to avoid a third straight setback to Buffalo and pick up consecutive wins overall for the first time since Jan. 10-12. The Bruins are 11-12-2 since, but still lead the Northeast with 81 points. That is three up on the Senators, who host the Rangers tonight.
Boston came through with a 5-4 victory over Toronto on Tuesday. Tyler Seguin scored twice during his team's four-goal second period and Jordan Caron also lit the lamp two times while adding an assist.
"I thought tonight we just had an all-around great team effort," said Seguin. "If you look at my goals I didn't do too much. It was just right spots, right time and it's definitely nice to walk away with two points."
Tim Thomas made 25 saves to help halt the Bruins' two-game slide.
Thomas will be backed up tonight by Marty Turco, who practiced with the Bruins for the first time on Wednesday. Boston signed Turco on Monday after Tuukka Rask suffered a lower-body injury that will sideline him for 4-to-6 weeks, but had to first clear waivers.
Andrew Ference (lower body) and Daniel Paille (left arm) are also doubtful for tonight, while Benoit Pouliot is day-to-day with a lower-body injury suffered versus Toronto. He did not practice on Wednesday.
03/08 10:43:42 ET