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Bruins lead Sabres, 4-1, after two

11.03.10 at 8:38 pm ET
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What’s more surprising: That Tim Thomas allowed a goal or that it wasn’t the Bruins scoring on the Sabres’ power play? Thomas did the unthinkable in the second period by allowing a puck past him, but the Bruins lead, 4-1, after two nonetheless.

Drew Stafford picked up his fourth goal of the season at 16:39 with Blake Wheeler in the bin for slashing, but a Michael Ryder tally early on in the period in which he did all the work meant that the Bruins once again hold a three-goal lead at period’s end.

Tyler Seguin achieved another career first when he took a minor penalty for hooking Andrej Sekera. All in all 44 penalty minutes were doled out between the two teams in the rather chippy period.

Patrick Lalime, who replaced Jhonas Enroth at the beginning of the period, made seven saves on eight shots. Thomas has 21 saves on 22 shots.

Shorthanded goals, Blake Wheeler have Bruins leading Sabres after one

11.03.10 at 7:42 pm ET
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A pair of shorthanded goals, an even-strength goal from Blake Wheeler and another shutout period from Tim Tomas has the Bruins leading the struggling Sabres, 3-0 after one period in Buffalo.

Brad Marchand got the party started with Michael Ryder in the box, hopping onto the ice on the penalty and racing to Jhonas Enroth’s net for a breakaway tally at 3:32, the first goal of his NHL career.

Later in the period, Marchand and Gregory Campbell piled on more shorthanded pressure with Dennis Seidenberg in the bin for holding, and the play resulted in Patrice Bergeron’s second goal of the season. Wheeler later added an even strength tally, his first of the season, thanks to a nice pass from behind the net from new linemate Michael Ryder.

Tim Thomas saved all nine shots the Sabres had on him.

Bruins set to take on Sabres

11.03.10 at 6:56 pm ET
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The Bruins and Sabres aren’t far from the puck dropping on their first contest since the B’s eliminated Buffalo in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Tim Thomas is in net for the B’s, and with Ryan Miller battling a lower-body injury, Jhonas Entroth will make his second career start (he allowed four goals to the Bruins in a Sabres loss last November).

The Sabres are off to a wretched start, sitting in last place of the Northeast divison with just eight points in 12 games. The B’s have 12 points in eight games, thanks to wins in all six of Thomas’ starts this season. The lines appear to be the same as they have been in practice this week. Here are the lines according to the Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa:

Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Caron – Bergeron- Recchi
Wheeler -Seguin- Ryder
Marchand – Campbell- Thornton

Chara – Ference
Hunwick – Seidenberg
Stuart – McQuaid

Thomas
Rask

Read More: Ryan Miller, Tim Thomas,

Providence Bruins to play outdoor game in Connecticut

11.03.10 at 3:19 pm ET
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For the second straight year, the Bruins will be playing outdoors… kind of.

Howard Baldwin, chairman of Whalers Sports & Entertainment announced on Wednesday that the Feb. 11 game between the Connecticut Whale (which will come into existence on Nov. 27 after the rebranding of the Hartford Wolf Pack) and the Providence Bruins will be played at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn.

The game, which will be a part of the nine-day long Whalers Hockey Fest, will be the second outdoor game in the history of the AHL. The Binghamton Senators and Syracuse Crunch played this past February at the New York State Fairgrounds.

Tickets for the Connecticut/Providence outdoor game can be purchased at www.ctwhale.com.

Mike Milbury on D&H: ‘What goes on in the mind of Tuukka Rask?’

11.03.10 at 1:03 pm ET
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NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday to talk about the Bruins and league news. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Most of the discussion focused on the Bruins’ goaltending situation, with Tim Thomas handling the bulk of duties while promising youngster Tuukka Rask sits.

Said Milbury: “It’s a happy problem, but you wonder what goes on in the mind of Tuukka Rask under these circumstances. I was talking to Kelly Hrudey last week, the Hockey Night in Canada analyst with me, and he said, ‘He may not know it, but this could be the best thing to happen to Rask. He’s got to earn that right to be called the No. 1. It’s not always easy and it’s not always a given.’ And he’s right. I’m sure Tuukka Rask doesn’t really look at it that way, but in some ways, it’s not a bad thought. Rask has to continue to compete. It keeps him sharp. The question is, When does he get the chance to go again?”

Added Milbury: “I think we mentioned last week, the schedule’s been so uneven. They’ve got to get into a rhythm at some point. And at that point, I think because of the way Thomas plays, although he’s been fairly compact and economical through the first part of the season, he still has a tendency to want to explode out and dive here and there. It will take its toll, and they’ll need Rask. And Rask will have his chance then. But who saw this coming?”

Milbury said he’s not aware that Thomas was close to being dealt last season. “I never heard anything that anything was imminent,” Milbury said. “I think there were a lot of people kicking tires, but they weren’t kicking them as hard as they would be if they were shopping him right now, I would think. He had an uneven season, and he had a bunch of years left on his contract, and he’s always been looked on as, ‘I can’t believe he’s doing this.’ There seems to be some degree of incredulity that he can make this thing happen. But he does. He does through his competitiveness and his athleticism, and his mindset.”

Milbury said the Bruins might have to consider moving Thomas, but only if an enticing trade offer is made.

“It would be interesting to see if they shopped him around, and he’d be willing to be traded, if that would bring A) cap relief and B) fill a hole someplace else, i.e., the blue line, where they’re thinner than I’d like them to be,” Milbury said, adding: “I don’t think there’s going to be any talk of that. I think things are so good right now for the Bruins, that if Peter Chiarelli is looking for cap relief, he’s probably going to look in a different direction. And I certainly don’t blame him. It would be a really gutsy move to make that deal, and if somebody came with a sweetheart of a deal, you’d have to take a look at it, knowing that Rask played as well.”

Read More: Mike Milbury, Peter Chiarelli, Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask

UPDATE: Ryan Miller out vs. Bruins

11.03.10 at 11:06 am ET
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According to multiple reports out of Buffalo, Sabres goaltender and reigning Vezina winner Ryan Miller will not play when the Bruins take on the Sabres in Buffalo on Wednesday night due to a lower body injury. Patrick Lalime was reportedly first off the ice for the Sabres at their morning skate Wednesday.

UPDATE: 6:40: Jhonas Enroth, recently called up by the Sabres, is set to start for the Sabres after leading the team onto the ice on Wednesday night. Ironically, the 22-year-old’s only NHL start prior to Wednesday came last November against the Bruins. He allowed four goals on 37 shots in a Bruins victory.

Injury could cause Ryan Miller to miss Wednesday’s game vs. Bruins

11.02.10 at 4:41 pm ET
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According to the Associated Press, Sabres goaltender and reigning Vezina winner Ryan Miller may not play in Wednesday’s game against the Bruins due to an lower-body injury.

Miller did not practice on Monday, but did see limited ice time in Tuesday’s skate. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said that the decision on whether Miller, whom he said is not dealing with a groin injury, will be healthy enough to go against the B’s will come Wednesday morning.

“I thought he looked OK,” Ruff said on Tuesday. “I thought he was also taking it a little bit easy, just to give it a try. I think he’s just trying to find out exactly where he is at.”

Miller hopes to play but doesn’t want the struggling Sabres, off to a 3-7-2 start, to have a less-than-capable guy in net against the Bruins, winners of six of their last seven games.

“I felt better than I anticipated,” Miller said. “… I want to play, but I want to be sure that I’m giving the guys the best chance.”

Miller began feeling pain during Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Thrashers. If he is unable to go, Patrick Lalime, who allowed four goals against the Stars on Saturday, will man the pipes for Buffalo.

Read More: Patrick Lalime, Ryan Miller,
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