Another day, another big game for the B’s. They get set to host the Buffalo Sabres tonight in what could potentially be a first-round playoff match-up. The difference, however, is that Buffalo’s ticket to the big dance is already punched, while the Bruins are still outside trying to scalp a ticket.
The Bruins have 85 points through 79 games heading in Thursday night’s showdown. They are currently in the eighth position, one point ahead of the New York Rangers (80 games, 84 points), one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers (80 games, 86 points), and two points behind the Montreal Canadiens (80 games, 87 points).
Tim Connolly and Thomas Vanek are out for Buffalo on Thursday, while Craig Rivet is expected to play. For the Bruins, in addition to Seidenberg and Savard, Stuart is out and most likely Ference. Thornton is listed as questionable, and Chara is expected to play despite breaking his nose on Monday night.
As has been the story the entire season, the Bruins need to get the power play going. They have not scored a power play goal in their last five games. They are 3 for 38 on the power play in their last 14 games.
I don’t have the lines yet for tonight’s game, but it figures to be a match-up of two of the league’s elite goaltenders; Tuukka Rask and Ryan Miller. Rask currently leads in GAA and Save Percentage, with 1.99 and .930 respectively. Miller is second in each of those categories, with 2.23 and .928 respectively.
I will update with the line-ups as we get closer to game time. Also, don’t forget to check for some Twitter updates throughout the game.