Defenseman David Warsofsky will make his NHL debut. Warsofsky was called up when the team sent down defenseman Kevan Miller on Wednesday. He's spent the past three seasons with the Bruins' American Hockey League team in Providence.
"You'll see he's a very good skating, smart, heady player," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said. "We have one of those like Torey Krug, so I'm anxious to see how our [defense] will look [Thursday] with two of them."
Warsofsky likely will be with Matt Bartkowski on the third defensive pairing. Goalie Chad Johnson is expected to get his ninth start of the season. Johnson got the win Oct. 23 when the Bruins beat the Sabres 5-2.
"We want to end on a good note here before Christmas," Johnson said. "We've had some good games here lately and a little bit of a streak, I guess. So for us, again, it's not looking too far ahead to the break but it's realizing we want to be on a little bit of a roll and end the way we think we should, and that starts tonight with Buffalo."
Boston has won seven of its past nine games.
The Sabres had an optional skate and interim coach Ted Nolan said there may not be any changes to their lineup from their win against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. Nolan did say there is a possibility John Scott could play.
"This will be a real game-time decision whether we put him in," Nolan said. "We've been working with him the last couple games. Everybody played well [Tuesday] so it depends on the mood before the game, I guess."
Scott has practiced the past two days on defense and was there again during the morning skate. He spent most of his career as a defenseman before shifting to forward in recent years.
Ryan Miller was the first goalie off at the skate and will likely start.
As for the lines, here's how they may look:
Injured: Cody McCormick (upper body)
Suspended: Shawn Thornton