It will be a fairly quick turnaround as the Bruins head up to Buffalo to take on the Sabres (3-0-0) tonight. Linus Ullmark gets his first start of the season, fittingly going against his former squad.
It’ll be good for both Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman, for Ullmark to get the nod tonight. Swayman had his first NHL dud on Wednesday, which was going to come eventually. While it was always the plan to go to Ullmark for the Friday tilt, it made the decision a little bit easier.
When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York
"Bruins projected linesMarchand-Bergeron-PastrnakHall-Coyle-SmithDeBrusk-Haula-NosekBlidh-Frederic-Kuhlman Grzelcyk-McAvoyReilly-CarloForbort-Moore UllmarkSwayman"
"Sabres projected linesSkinner-Cozens-HinostrozaAsplund-Thompson-OlofssonBjork-Girgensons-OkposoHayden-Ruotsalainen-Caggiula Dahlin-ButcherBryson-MillerHagg-Pysyk AndersonTokarski"
You’ll notice two changes in the Bruins’ lineup. Nick Foligno is out for Friday’s game after suffering an upper-body injury on Wednesday. Tomas Nosek will fill in on the right wing on the third line, while Anton Blidh gets his first game of the season. He’ll play left wing on the fourth line with Karson Kuhlman, who scored a goal against the Flyers, and Trent Frederic in the center role.
Bruce Cassidy also looks to be switching out Connor Clifton for John Moore on the third defenisve pairing. Clifton and Derek Forbort struggled together on Wednesday, although they had not played much together beforehand. Nonetheless, Cassidy gives Clifton the night off to give the veteran Moore a chance.
Speaking of changes, Buffalo will be without top-line center Casey Mittelstadt as well as Cody Eakin. Mittelstadt was placed on IR with an upper-body injury and is expected to eb out the rest of the month. Eakin’s injury is unknown, but is considered day-to-day.
Buffalo already took a blow when defensemen Henri Jokiharju was placed on the IR last week with a lower-body injury. They will be without all three on Friday.
Despite the injuries and the preseason expectations of the Sabres, Buffalo is out to a shocking 3-0-0 start. Don Granato has this team playing some good hockey, beating the Canadiens, Coyotes and Canucks. The Bruins will be the first top team the Sabres are facing this season, and it’ll be a good test for the group.
Ullmark will definitely be motivated to beat his old team and after a poor showing on Wednesday, so should the rest of the Boston group.
Oh, and yes, this will be the first game of the season not on national television or NESN. It will be stream exclusively on ESPN+, so good luck having to explain that your father when he goes to turn on the game tonight.