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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, January 12th (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (17-20-5-1) at Boston Bruins (18-11-10-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins seek their fourth consecutive victory tonight when they welcome the Buffalo Sabres to the FleetCenter.

Prior to the game, the Bruins will retire Cam Neely's No. 8. After playing the first two-plus seasons of his career with the Vancouver Canucks, the winger was acquired by the Bruins in 1986 and played the remainder of his career with the club until various injuries forced him to retire in 1996. Neely ended his Bruins career with 344 goals and 246 assists for 590 points with 921 penalty minutes in 525 regular season games.

Neely will be the 10th Bruin to have his number honored, joining Eddie Shore (#2), Lionel Hitchman (#3), Bobby Orr (#4), Aubrey "Dit" Clapper (#5), Phil Esposito (#7), John Bucyk (#9), Milt Schmidt (#15), Terry O'Reilly (#24) and Ray Bourque (#77).

Boston, which is unbeaten in its last five overall (4-0-1), has defeated Detroit, Pittsburgh and Detroit during its recent spurt, including Saturday's 2-1 overtime triumph against the visiting Red Wings.

Joe Thornton scored with 2:30 remaining in overtime, lifting Bruins to the victory. Boston, with 50 points, is third in the Northeast Division -- seven behind first-place Toronto.

Martin Lapointe posted the other goal for the Bruins, who are 5-1-1 in their last seven. Andrew Raycroft made 27 saves for the win.

In five games this month, Thornton has contributed two goals and three assists.

Boston, 3-0-1 in its last three at home, will visit Buffalo on Thursday.

The Sabres, meanwhile, are 3-1-2 in their last six tries, including a 3-2 decision over Ottawa on Friday. Rory Fitzpatrick scored a power-play goal late in the third period to snap a tie and lift Buffalo.

Daniel Briere registered a goal and assist for the Sabres, who snapped a three-game winless streak (0-1-2). J.P. Dumont also scored and Martin Biron made 23 saves.

Briere and Dumont reached the scoresheet for the first time in four games, while Fitzpatrick posted his second goal in four tilts.

Jochen Hecht, Dmitri Kalinin and Alexei Zhitnik each registered an assist for the Sabres, who improved to 5-9-3 in their last 17 games. Zhitnik has posted two goals and one assist in his last three contests.

The Sabres, 0-2-1 in their last three road tilts, will host Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Boston and Buffalo are meeting for the first time this season. The Bruins have won four of the last six clashes, and are 4-0-1 in the last five played in their rink.

01/12 10:46:32 ET


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