The Boston Bruins (21-8-4) will look to turn a new page and conquer the Buffalo Sabres (13-16-6), a team that they have had trouble with this season.
On Saturday afternoon, the Bruins played one of their worst games all season. The B’s fell to the fourteenth place Philadelphia Flyers 1-3. Right from the beginning, there was a lack of urgency and it was consistent throughout the entirety of the game. They played a style that was totally uncharacteristic of them and us Bruins fans aren’t used to seeing them lack that sense of urgency that has been there in years past.
Like the Flyers, the Buffalo Sabres are also having a down year. The Sabres are currently last place in the Northeast Division and twelfth in the Eastern conference. But like the Bruins found out on Saturday, no team can be taken for granted and a full 100% effort must be brought to each and every game.
If there is one player in the NHL that has caused the Bruins problems over the past couple years, it has been Thomas Vanek of the Buffalo Sabres. Over the past two seasons, he has five goals and five assists against the Bruins. Most notably, he scored three goals and two assists in a 7-4 win over the Bruins earlier this season. Boston has given up twelve goals in their three meetings this year with the Sabres and will have to shut down Vanek along with all the other highly skilled forwards for the Sabres if they want to win.
There is also plenty of fighting history between these two teams. Everyone remembers last season when Milan Lucic completely ran over Sabres goalie Ryan Miller. And of course this year, when 6’8” 258 pound John Scott did battle with Shawn Thornton (Thornton suffered a concussion). It is always an exciting game when these two teams take the ice, and I would expect nothing less on Sunday night.
Both teams played on Saturday so the legs will definitely be fatigued, but nonetheless, this will be a very exhilarating game between two division rivals. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo.