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Sabres at Bruins preview

Posted By DJ Bean On December 7, 2010 @ 12:45 pm In General | No Comments

After falling to the Maple Leafs in a shootout on Saturday night, the Bruins are back at TD Garden, where they will face the Sabres. The B’s had no trouble handling handling Lindy Ruff’s squad in Buffalo on Nov. 3, scoring five goals against a backup cocktail of Jhonas Enroth and Patrick Lalime.

The groin injury that kept Ryan Miller [1] out of that contest is a thing of the past, and the reigning Vezina winner is on fire. He’s coming off back-to-back shutouts, including a 1-0 shootout victory Saturday in Ottawa.

The Bruins held an optional morning skate on Tuesday. Tim Thomas [2] and Mark Recchi [3] were the only two to miss it, but given that Thomas is on a hot streak of his own (three goals allowed on 119 shots over the last three games), one would think he’d be between the pipes.

WHERE IT’S AT

– The Bruins are 5-5-2 in home games and are 5-4-2 in games played at TD Garden. They throttled the Lightning to the tune of an 8-1 victory last Thursday, their most recent home contest.

– Like the Bruins, the Sabres are a much better road team than they are a home team. They’ve compiled a 6-5-2 record away from Buffalo, while their 5-8-1 home record has a lot to do with why they’re currently fourth in the Northeast with 25 points.

NOTABLE NUMBERS

– Thomas continues to lead the NHL [4] in the three major goaltending statistics. His .956 save percentage, 1.46 goals against average, and five shutouts are tops in the league.

– Former Bruin Steve Montador is tied for second in the league with a plus-16. In 13 games for the Bruins in 2008-09, Montador a plus-3 and had two points. He added three more points and was a plus-5 in 11 playoff games.

– The Sabres are just about as bad offensively this year as the Bruins were last year. The B’s averaged a league-worst 2.39 goals per game last season, while Buffalo currently averages 2.4 a night, which is 25th in the league.

STORYLINES GOING IN

Nathan Horton [5] has shown signs of picking it up as of late, getting points in each of the last two games, including his first goal in 10 games Saturday. The sharpshooting winger still has just two points in his last eight games after registering 18 in the 17 prior.

– This will be the Bruins’ first game since sending Jordan Caron to Providence. Caron had been a healthy scratch in the last two games due to the return of Marc Savard [6], so geting the 20-year-old playing time is clearly in everyone’s best interest.

“It’€™s never an easy decision because the guy has been here since the beginning of the year,” Claude Julien [7] told reporters after the morning skate. “At the same time, he’€™s a young player. I mean, David Krejci [8] went back and forth and I don’€™t think that it hurt his career, except that it probably helped him, so I think those decisions are always made with the right intentions. Management wants to see him play and at this stage of his career, he can be brought up and down as much as we want, so I don’€™t think it’€™s an issue there because there’€™s no, he doesn’€™t have to clear waivers or anything like that. We just want to see him progress and he’€™s going to progress by playing.”

– Julien went into the logic behind Michael Ryder [9] moving to the left wing, and it’s all about the utilization of Tyler Seguin [10] with center Marc Savard.

“With [Seguin's] speed and using Savvy as a left hand shot, it’€™s a lot easier for him to pass to the right side. But we just kind of made that decision and all three guys are comfortable with that.”


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URL to article: http://bigbadblog.weei.com/sports/boston/hockey/bruins/2010/12/07/sabres-at-bruins-preview/

URLs in this post:

[1] Ryan Miller: http://media.weei.com/hockey/ryan-miller.htm

[2] Tim Thomas: http://media.weei.com/hockey/tim-thomas.htm

[3] Mark Recchi: http://media.weei.com/hockey/mark-recchi.htm

[4] NHL: http://media.weei.com/hockey/nhl.htm

[5] Nathan Horton: http://media.weei.com/hockey/nathan-horton.htm

[6] Marc Savard: http://media.weei.com/hockey/marc-savard.htm

[7] Claude Julien: http://media.weei.com/hockey/claude-julien.htm

[8] David Krejci: http://media.weei.com/hockey/david-krejci.htm

[9] Michael Ryder: http://media.weei.com/hockey/michael-ryder.htm

[10] Tyler Seguin: http://media.weei.com/hockey/tyler-seguin.htm

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