The Boston Bruins are looking to extend their winning streak as they host the Buffalo Sabres tonight at TD Garden. This will be their fourth match-up this season. Coming off a win against the Calgary Flames, the B’s will see the return of winger David Backes, who is coming off a three-game suspension. He will be slotted on the right wing with Jake Debrusk and David Krejci. This morning the B’s had optional skate at the Warrior Ice Arena. Coach Bruce Cassidy also announced that both Colby Cave and Steven Kampfer will be scratches for tonight’s game.
The season is now half-way through as the Bruins continue to play with positive momentum. After a temendous win at the Winter Classic, the B’s are looking and feeling good. Amidst the multiple injuries they’ve dealt with early in the first half of the season, the boys in Black and Gold have managed to hold a strong position in the Playoff’s scene. The Bruins are now four points behind Toronto as they are tied with the Sabres for 3rd in the Atlantic Division. At this point, it’s safe to say that Boston are on pace for 100 points or more by the end of 2019.
GAME NOTES: BRUINS
With the addition of Backes in the line-up, the Bruins roster once again will be shifting as Joakim Nordstom is nursing a fractured fibula. Defenseman Charlie McAvoy is currently out and has only managed to play in 17 games this season, although frustrations should start to melt away as it seems he’ll be back sooner rather than later.
Well, I feel good about it, to be honest with you. I mean, right now we’re halfway through the year (Game 41) and we’re at 50 points. We’d like to think we’ll get better, simply because a lot of the guys that were out that are key contributors are now healthy and the only one left is Charlie.”Coach Bruce Cassidy
The Bruins are fourth in the league for the power play percentage at 27.8 They currently have a 23-14-4 record while Buffalo has a 22-13-6 record in a tight race for that third position as both teams have 50 points. The last time these two teams met, the Bruins rallied back to win 3-2 as Sean Kuraly netted the overtime goal.
GAMES NOTES: SABRES
The Sabre’s Jack Eichel will be missing from the lineup for the second straight game due to an upper-body injury. He suffered the set-back during a recent game against the New York Islanders in which the Sabres fell 3-1. He leads Buffalo with 49 points in 40 games so far. Left-winger Jeff Skinner is second to Eichel with 41 points in 41 games and leads the team with 28 goals. Goaltender Linus Ullmark will get the start tonight in net for the Sabres. He currently has a 2.73 goals against average with a .922 save percentage.
Bruins All-Star David Pastrnak has a three point game streak with 22 points in his last 14 games. He also has 52 points in 41 games and leads the team in points and goals. Brad Marchand is second with 44 points with Patrice Bergeron at 35 points. David Krejci isn’t far behind with 33 points total. Pastrnak is tied in fourth place in the league for goals at 25, and leads with 12 powerplay goals. Tuukka Rask will be in net for the Bruins tonight while looking to continue an upward trend in his play. He currently has a 2.63 goals against average with a .914 save percentage.
WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight with puck drop @ 7:00pm
WHERE TO WATCH: NESN, ESPN+, MSG-B
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