Boston Bruins Welcome Jack Eichel To TD Garden


Last year, Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel was playing for Boston University. Eichel was part of the BU team that made it to last year’s NCAA Frozen Four. Now Eichel is getting a welcoming home (of sorts) as he returns to TD Garden to take on the Boston Bruins tonight.

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Now Eichel will be taking the ice against one of the hottest teams in hockey. The Bruins have come out of nowhere to be one of the top teams in the Atlantic division. On the other hand, the Buffalo Sabres have found themselves near the bottom, in spite of their impressive pool of talent. Buffalo stands ten points behind the Black and Gold, with just the Toronto Maple Leafs trailing them.

“I usually get some nerves for every game,’’ said Eichel after the Sabres’ morning skate at the TD Garden. “There’s nothing different between what’s going on on the ice, there’s just going to be a lot more people supporting me in the stands, I think.’’

“It’s a big game for us. The Bruins have been playing well lately, so we need this one.’’

This will be the first of four match-ups between the two teams this season.

The Bruins could certainly use these points as well. With the Winter Classic just days away, a Boston win would certainly add a psychological victory to the Black and Gold. The Bruins still find themselves one point behind the Montreal Canadiens going into tonight’s contest.

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  • Right now, two points mean an awful lot for the B’s. A Bruins win gives them sole possession of first in the Atlantic. It would also propel them to third in the Eastern Conference, a position that seemed all but unthinkable just a month ago.  Even if the Bruins manage to take only a single point out of tonight’s match, it will be enough to push Montreal off the top of the pedestal.

    “He probably will start this one,’’said Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma of Eichel. “You’ve just got to keep an eye on the situation you know, maybe [it’s] a situation where being back in front of the hometown, his first time back in Boston, might be one where we do ride him.”

    The Bruins will also see the return of Chad Johnson to Boston. The former backup goaltender will be in goal tonight facing his former team. Johnson has been struggling for Buffalo, going 9-9-2 so far this year. His save percentage is .918, and he has a 2.31 goals-against average.