Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

Need to Know: Bruins vs. Sabres

Teams meeting for the first time this season

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / Boston Bruins

BOSTON - The Bruins are back at TD Garden Monday with a chance to start another winning streak. Boston had won three straight before a 5-2 loss to the Rangers Saturday night.

The Black & Gold (6-5-0) host Buffalo (5-4-2) in the teams' first meeting of the season. The teams are tied for sixth place in the Atlantic Division with 12 points apiece.

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Here is what you need to know:

What to Watch For

Improving their power play is no doubt the Bruins' primary focus moving forward. Boston went 0 for 3 with the man advantage against the Rangers, while allowing two shorthanded goals. The Bruins have surrendered three shorties this season and have the second-worst man advantage in the league at 7.9%.

The last time Boston allowed two shorthanded goals in a game was Feb. 10, 2015 against Dallas.

"It's not even close to what we can accomplish," said Patrice Bergeron, who acts as the team's power play "bumper" in the middle of the slot.

"It's actually hurting the team right now. It's about us finding a way and being better."

The Bruins have scored just three goals in 38 attempts this season, after boasting the league's seventh-best power play last season at 20.5 percent.

"There's no secret that we're lacking confidence, especially on the power play," said David Krejci, who along with Ryan Spooner leads the team with two power-play points.

"We've got to figure it out, try to make plays that are there and not really overthink things."

Video: Krejci on the power play vs. Rangers

Opposing View

Buffalo, coming off a 2-1 win over Ottawa Saturday night, has had a decent start, considering they have been without phenom Jack Eichel and forward Evander Kane for the first month of the season. Eichel, a North Chelmsford, Mass., native and former Boston University standout, had 24 goals and 32 assists last season during his rookie campaign. The 20-year-old suffered a high-ankle sprain during training camp.

Defenseman Zach Bogosian has missed the last two games with an MCL sprain. Forward Tyler Ennis and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov were given maintenance days on Sunday and did not practice during Buffalo's session at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton.

Entering play Sunday, Buffalo was ranked second in the NHL in faceoff win percentage (54.4%). The Bruins are fifth at 51.7%.

The Sabres' power play ranks ninth in the league at 22.2% (8 for 36). Matt Moulson is tied for the league lead with four power-play goals.

Goaltender Robin Lehner is 3-1-0 with a .961 save percentage and 1.26 goals against average in his last four games.

Sabres forward Kyle Okposo, signed as a free agent during the offseason, has notched 22 points (four goals, 18 assists) in 23 career games against Boston, including six points (two goals, four assists) in his last four games at TD Garden. He leads Buffalo this season with five goals and is tied for the team lead with eight points.

Wait, There's More

  • The Bruins and Sabres are meeting for the 282nd time in their histories with the Bruins having a 131-110-29-11 record. Boston is 8-1-2 in their last 11 games vs. the Sabres with their lone regulation loss in that stretch a 6-3 loss in Boston on Dec. 26, 2015.
  • The Sabres are the only team the Bruins have never swept in a season series. The teams play four times this season.
  • Bruins forward Tim Schaller played the last two seasons with Buffalo, appearing in 35 games with five points (two goals, three assists).
View More