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Pregame Notes: Boston @ Buffalo

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS vs. BUFFALO SABRES

Monday, December 10, 2007
HSBC Arena; Buffalo NY
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
VERSUS and WBZ Radio

Tonight’s Game
The Bruins visit the Sabres tonight in the fourth of eight games between these teams and the second of four games of the series at HSBC Arena. The Bruins are 15-10-3 and are 8-7-2 on the road. The Sabres are 13-13-1 overall with an 8-5-0 record on home ice. The Bruins are 5-5-2 vs. Northeast Division teams and are 11-8-3 overall vs. Eastern Conference foes. The Sabres are 6-5-1 vs. Northeast Division teams and are 12-9-1 overall vs. Eastern Conference opponents.

All-time Series
The Bruins are 106-96-29-3 all-time vs. Buffalo with the Sabres holding a 770-769 scoring edge in those 234 games. The Bruins are 41-59-15-2 all-time vs. the Sabres in Buffalo with the Sabres having a 425-341 scoring advantage in those 117 contests. The Bruins have taken points out of each of the first three games of 's series with the Sabres at 2-0-1 with a 4-3 overtime win in Boston on Nov. 1, a 2-1 overtime loss in Buffalo on Nov. 7 and a 2-1 victory in Boston on Nov. 10.

Recent Bruins Games
The Bruins won the first game of their current three-game road trip and are 2-1-1 in their last four games with a 3-1 victory at NY Islanders on Dec. 3, a 4-3 overtime loss in New Jersey on Dec. 5, a 4-2 setback to Montreal on Dec. 6 and a 2-1 win in Toronto on Dec. 8. They are 8-4-1 in their last 13 games overall. The Bruins will tonight play game 12 of a stretch in the schedule that sees them play 11 of 13 games overall on the road (6-4-1 in that span).

Recent Sabres Games
The Sabres went 1-2-0 on their recent three-game Western Conference road trip with a 4-1 loss in Anaheim on Dec. 5, an 8-2 setback in Los Angeles on Dec. 6 and a 7-1 victory in San Jose on Dec. 8. They are 2-3-0 in their last five games overall following a season-high five-game win streak from Nov. 16-26.

Upcoming Bruins Games
The Bruins will conclude their current three-game road trip in Atlanta on Dec. 12. They will then return home for a five-game home stand, hosting New Jersey (Dec. 13), Columbus (Dec. 15), Ottawa (Dec. 18), Pittsburgh (Dec. 20) and St. Louis (Dec. 22). All games have a 7:00 p.m. start time (exception: Dec. 22 game is 1:00 p.m.) and are broadcast on NESN and WBZ Radio.

Upcoming Sabres Games
The Sabres will next host the NY Islanders on Dec. 12 before traveling to Washington to face the Capitals on Dec. 14.

Bruins Injuries
Bobby Allen: Back spasms.
Patrice Bergeron: Concussion and broken nose suffered Oct. 27 vs. Philadelphia.
Andrew Ference: Knee sprain suffered Nov. 15 vs. Toronto.
Vladimir Sobotka: Upper body injury suffered Dec. 5 in New Jersey.
Tim Thomas: Groin strain suffered Dec. 5 at New Jersey.
Shawn Thornton: Broken right foot suffered Nov. 4 vs. Ottawa.

Bruins Recent Transactions
Nov. 21: Matt Hunwick returned to Providence/AHL.
Nov. 22: Matt Hunwick recalled from Providence/AHL.
Nov. 23: Vladimir Sobotka recalled from Providence/AHL.
Dec. 6: Alex Auld acquired from Phoenix for Nate DiCasmirro and 2009 fifth round draft pick.
Dec. 6: Manny Fernandez assigned to Providence/AHL for conditioning.

Bruins 2007-08 Shootouts (1-1)
1. Oct. 10 … NY Rangers 0 at Boston 1 … Boston Goal: Manny Fernandez (W) … NY Rangers Goal: Henrik Lundqvist (L). Boston Shooters: Bergeron (N), Sturm (N), Kessel (Y) … NY Rangers Shooters: Shanahan (N), Drury (N), Jagr (N)
2. Nov. 4 … Ottawa 2 at Boston 1 … Boston Goal: Tim Thomas (L) … Ottawa Goal: Martin Gerber (W). Boston Shooters: Kobasew (N), Kessel (N) … Ottawa Shooters: Alfredsson (Y), Vermette (Y)

Bruins 2007-08 Penalty Shots
1. Oct. 27 … Phil Kessel unsuccessful vs. Philadelphia's Martin Biron (15:09 second period).
 
Bruins Fun Facts
- Phil Kessel is two games shy of his 100th NHL game milestone.
- Brandon Bochenski is three games short of his 100th NHL game milestone.
- Peter Schaefer is seven goals shy of his 100th NHL goal milestone.
- Marco Sturm is seven assists short of his 200th NHL assist milestone.
- Shawn Thornton is eight games shy of his 100th NHL game milestone.
- The Bruins have 17 sets of back-to-back games and have completed five of these series so far.
- They are 2-2-1 in the first game of these series and are 2-2-1 in the second game of these sets.
- The Bruins have five rookies on their current roster – Matt Hunwick, Milan Lucic, Petteri Nokelainen, Tuukka Rask and Vladimir Sobotka.
- The Bruins have nine players on their current roster who are new to the Bruins – Alex Auld (trade with Phoenix), Matt Hunwick (draft), Milan Lucic (draft), Glen Metropolit (free agent), Petteri Nokelainen (trade with NY Islanders), Tuukka Rask (trade with Toronto), Peter Schaefer (trade with Ottawa), Vladimir Sobotka (draft) and Shawn Thornton (free agent). That is in addition to new coach Claude Julien and new assistant coaches Craig Ramsay and Geoff Ward.
- The Bruins have completed six of their 24 seasons series. They are 0-1-0 vs. Anaheim, 1-0-0 vs. Chicago, 0-1-0 vs. Dallas, 1-0-0 vs. Los Angeles, 1-0-0 vs. Phoenix and 1-0-0 vs. San Jose.
- The Bruins opened with a five-game trip against Pacific Division teams, which concluded Oct. 13 in San Jose. That was the last game of the season scheduled for the Bruins outside of the Eastern Time zone.
- The Bruins will host the Central Division teams and will not play teams in the Northwest Division.

The Players
6-Dennis Wideman-D

- Has a six-game point streak in progress with 2-4-6 totals in that span…Has single assists each Nov. 29 in Florida, Dec. 1 in Tampa Bay and Dec. 3 at NY Islanders, a goal Dec. 5 at New Jersey, an assist Dec. 6 vs. Montreal and the game-winning goal Dec. 8 in Toronto.
- Has 2-7-9 totals in his last 13 games.
- Had a three-game assist streak from Nov. 10-17 (0-3-3 totals).
- Has not dressed for one game (coach's decision).

10-Brandon Bochenski-RW
- Has played the last two games, with an assist on the game-winning goal Dec. 8 in Toronto, after not dressing for the previous two games.
- Has five assists in his last ten games.
- Has one multiple-point game, matching his previous career-high for assists in a game with a two-assist effort Nov. 15 vs. Toronto.
- Had a two-game conditioning stint in Providence/AHL from Oct. 23-28 with one goal and no PIM in those contests.
- Dressed, but did not play Oct. 10 in Anaheim.
- Has not dressed for nine games (coach's decision).

11-P.J. Axelsson-LW
- Has 1-1-2 totals in two of his last three games with an assist Dec. 5 in New Jersey and a goal Dec. 6 vs. Montreal.

12-Chuck Kobasew-RW
- Has 5-2-7 totals in his last ten games with a 2-1- 3 effort, including the game-winning goal, Nov. 20 in Toronto, a 1-1-2 night Nov. 26 in Philadelphia and single goals each Dec. 3 at NY Islanders and Dec. 8 in Toronto.
- Has 9-3-12 totals in his last 16 games.
- Has three multiple-point games.
- Had a three-game goal streak from Oct. 6-12 (3-0-3 totals).
- Has taken one shootout shot (no goal).

13-Glen Metropolit-C
- Has 4-3-7 totals in his last 11 games with three of the goals proving game-winning tallies…Had a 1-1-2 effort Nov. 15 vs. Toronto; an assist Nov. 20 in Toronto; single goals each Nov. 23 vs. NY Islanders, Nov. 26 in Philadelphia and Nov. 29 in Florida; and an assist on the game-winning goal Dec. 8 in Toronto.
- Has two multiple-point games.
- Played his 200th NHL game Nov. 23 vs. NY Islanders.
- Played his first game as a Bruin Oct. 5 in Dallas…Recorded his first point as a Bruin with an assist Oct. 10 in Anaheim…Scored his first goal as a Bruin Oct. 25 vs. Chicago.
- Signed as a free agent on Oct. 3…had been invited to training camp on a pro try-out agreement.

16-Marco Sturm-LW
- Has 4-6-10 totals in his last 14 games…Had goals in four straight games with single goals each Nov. 8 vs. Montreal, Nov. 10 vs. Buffalo, Nov. 15 vs. Toronto and Nov. 17 in Montreal; added two assists Nov. 20 in Toronto; and single assists each Nov. 23 vs. NY Islanders, Nov. 29 in Florida, Dec. 3 at NY Islanders and Dec. 5 in New Jersey.
- Has 6-9-15 totals in his last 18 games.
- Has four multiple-point games.
- Had a four-game point streak from Oct. 27-Nov. 4 (2-3-5 totals).
- Had a six-game point streak from Nov. 8-23 (4-3-7 totals).
- Played his 700th NHL game Nov. 23 vs. NY Islanders.
- Has taken one shootout shot (no goal).

17-Milan Lucic-LW
- Rookie.
- Has played the last four games after missing four games to injury.
- Recorded his first NHL assist/point and goal Oct. 12 in Los Angeles with the goal proving the game-winner…Completed his 'Gordie Howe hat trick' with a fight in that game as well.
- Has one multiple-point game.
- Played his first NHL game Oct. 5 in Dallas…Recorded his first NHL assist/point and goal Oct. 12 in Los Angeles with the goal proving the game-winner.
- Has not dressed for one game (coach's decision).
- Has missed four games to injury (4-head, Nov. 24-Dec. 1).
- Changed his number from 62 to 17 on October 30.

21-Andrew Ference-D
- Is out of the lineup with a knee sprain suffered Nov. 15 vs. Toronto…Had returned to the lineup in that game after missing the previous four games with an upper core injury.
- Has three assists in two of his last eight games with a two-assist effort Oct. 18 vs. Montreal and an assist on the game-winning goal Oct. 25 vs. Chicago.
- Has one multiple-point game.
- Has missed 15 games to injury (4-upper core, Nov. 4-10; 11-knee, Nov. 17-Dec. 8).

22-Shawn Thornton-RW
- Is out of the lineup with a broken foot suffered Nov. 4 vs. Ottawa.
- Scoreless in 13 games .
- Played his first game as a Bruin Oct. 5 in Dallas.
- Has missed 15 games to injury (14-foot, Nov. 7-Dec. 8).

27-Glen Murray-RW
- Had his four-game point streak stopped Dec. 8 in Toronto with 3-1-4 totals in that span…had single goals each Dec. 1 in Tampa Bay, Dec. 3 at NY Islanders and Dec. 5 in New Jersey and an assist Dec. 6 vs. Montreal.
- Has 8-4-12 totals in nine of his last 12 games.
- Has three multiple-point games with his season-high a 2-1-3 effort Nov. 17 in Montreal.
- Had a three-game point streak from Oct. 12-18 (1-3-4 totals).
- Has had two four-game point streaks, from Nov. 15-23 (3-3-6 totals) and Dec. 1-6 (3-1-4 totals).

29-Alex Auld-G
- Won his first start as a Bruin with a 2-1 victory in Toronto on Dec. 8.
- Dressed as backup Dec. 6 vs. Montreal…Had been acquired earlier that day from Phoenix for Nate DiCasmirro and a 2009 fifth round draft pick.
- Was been playing in San Antonio/AHL, where he was assigned Nov. 20 from Phoenix…Had a 3-6-0 record in nine Coyotes games with one shutout, a 1-0 win in Anaheim on Oct. 25…His last NHL game was a 6-0 loss to San Jose on Nov. 15 with his last NHL win a 6-5 overtime decision in Anaheim on Nov. 7…Had a 1-1-0 record with San Antonio, with the win a 7-0 victory over Milwaukee on Nov. 24.
- Is in his seventh professional season and Boston is his fourth NHL organization (Vancouver, Florida, Phoenix)…has a 49-50-2-11 record and 2.94 GAA in 117 career NHL games.
- Has dressed as backup for one Boston game.

30-Tim Thomas-G
- Is out of the lineup with a groin strain suffered Dec. 5 in New Jersey…Did not earn a decision in that game, allowing three goals in 58:50 before suffering the injury.
- Is 3-2-0 in his last five decisions with a 2-1 win over NY Islanders on Nov. 23, a 2-1 setback at the Islanders on Nov. 24, a 4-3 win in Florida on Nov. 29, a 4-1 loss in Tampa Bay on Dec. 1 and a 3-1 win at NY Islanders on Dec. 3.
- Has faced 30-or-more shots in 13 of his 20 games with a 7-4-1 record in those games (one no-decision)…His season-high in shots faced was 52 Nov. 17 in Montreal.
- Has allowed two-or-fewer goals in 14 of his 20 games (8-4-2 record) and has allowed one goal or less in eight of those contests (7-0-1).
- Had a three-game win streak from Oct. 13-25.
- Has dressed as backup for six games.
- Has missed two games to injury (2-groin, Dec. 6-8).

33-Zdeno Chara-D
- Has 1-1-2 totals in two of his last three games with a goal Dec. 5 in New Jersey and an assist Dec. 6 vs. Montreal.
- Has 3-3-6 totals in his last seven games with 4-7-11 totals in his last 13 contests.
- Has four multiple-point games.
- Had a three-game assist streak from Oct. 6-12 with (0-4-4 totals).
- Had a four-game assist/point streak from Nov. 10-20 (1-4-5 totals).

37-Patrice Bergeron-C
- Is out of the lineup with a concussion and broken nose suffered Oct. 27 vs. Philadelphia.
- Had his three-game point streak stopped Oct. 20 vs. NY Rangers with 1-4-5 totals in that span…had an assist Oct. 12 in Los Angeles, a 1-1-2 effort Oct. 13 in San Jose and two assists Oct. 18 vs. Montreal.
- Has 3-4-7 totals in five of his ten games played .
- Has two multiple-point games.
- Has taken one shootout shot (no goal).
- Has missed 18 games to injury (18-concussion/broken nose, Nov. 1-Dec. 8).

38-Bobby Allen-D
- Missed the Dec. 8 game in Toronto with back spasms.
- Has missed two games to injury (1-arm, Nov. 10; 1-back, Dec. 8).
- Has not dressed for 14 games (coach's decision).

40-Tuukka Rask-G
- Rookie.
- Dressed as backup Dec. 8 in Toronto.
- Has lost his last two decisions at 0-1-1 with a 4-3 overtime loss in New Jersey on Dec. 5, allowing the overtime goal while playing 4:26 in relief of an injured Tim Thomas and a 4-2 setback to Montreal on Dec. 6.
- Won his first two NHL starts, earning his first NHL win in his first NHL game with a 4-2 victory in Toronto on Nov. 20 and taking his second by a 6-3 decision in Philadelphia on Nov. 26.
- Has dressed as backup for 12 of 16 games over three recalls to Boston from Providence/AHL (Nov. 5-11, Nov. 15-18; Nov. 19-present).
- Had a 7-2-0 record and 2.10 goals against average in nine AHL Bruins games .
- Has dressed as backup for 12 Boston games.

41-Andrew Alberts-D
- Recorded his second assist of the season Nov. 26 in Philadelphia.

44-Aaron Ward-D
- Returned to the lineup Dec. 8 in Toronto after missing three games with an injury.
- Has two assists in two of his last three games played, recorded Nov. 29 in Florida and Dec. 8 in Toronto.
- Has one multiple-point game.
- Has missed five games to injury (2-concussion, Nov. 10-15; 3-ankle, Dec. 3-6).

45-Mark Stuart-D
- Scored his first goal of the season Oct. 18 vs. Montreal…It was his first goal scored since he scored his first career NHL goal on Apr. 10, 2006 vs. Washington.

48-Matt Hunwick-D
- Rookie.
- Recorded his first NHL point with an assist Dec. 8 in Toronto.
- Has played the last four games after not dressing for the previous two games.
- Recalled Nov. 22 from Providence/AHL for the third time (Nov. 9-13, Nov. 17-21)…Had four assists with four PIM in 12 AHL Bruins games with a +10 rating in those contests.
- Played his first NHL game Nov. 10 vs. Buffalo…Recorded his first NHL point with an assist Dec. 8 in Toronto.
- Has not dressed for four games (coach's decision).

53-Jeremy Reich-LW
- Has played the last 16 games, including his first game of the season Nov. 4 vs. Ottawa.
- Has not dressed for 12 games (coach's decision).

56-Petteri Nokelainen-C/W
- Rookie.
- Scored his first goal/point as a Bruin with the game-winning tally Dec. 3 at NY Islanders…It was his first NHL goal/point since Oct. 13, 2005 in Washington while with the NY Islanders.
- Played his first game as a Bruin Nov. 4 vs. Ottawa…That was his first NHL game since April 2, 2006 vs. Philadelphia while with the NY Islanders.
- Recalled Nov. 4 from Providence/AHL where he was third in that team's scoring race with 3-5-8 totals and 4 PIM in eight AHL Bruins games.

60-Vladimir Sobotka-C
- Has missed the last two games with an upper body injury suffered Dec. 5 in New Jersey.
- Has played six games, including his first NHL game Nov. 24 at NY Islanders…Became the fourth Bruin to play his first NHL game (Lucic, Hunwick, Rask).
- Recalled Nov. 23 from Providence/AHL where he was second in that team's scoring race with 7-7-14 totals and 12 PIM in 15 AHL Bruins games with a +10 rating.
- Has missed two games to injury (2-upper body, Dec. 6-8).

72-Peter Schaefer-LW
- Has 3-4-7 totals in his last 12 games…Had a season-high 2-1-3 effort Nov. 15 vs. Toronto, which matched his previous career-high for goals in a game; single assists each Nov. 20 in Toronto and Nov. 23 vs. NY Islanders (game-winning goal); a goal Nov. 26 in Philadelphia; and an assist Dec. 3 at NY Islanders.
- Has two multiple-point games.
- Played his 500th NHL game Oct. 20 vs. NY Rangers.
- Played his first game as a Bruin Oct. 5 in Dallas and recorded his first point as a Bruin with an assist in that game…scored his first goal as a Bruin Oct. 18 vs. Montreal.

81-Phil Kessel-C/W
- Has 1-1-2 totals in two of his last three games with an assist Dec. 5 in New Jersey and a goal Dec. 6 vs. Montreal.
- Has two multiple-point games.
- Scored his first career hat trick and recorded a career-high for points in a game with a 3-1-4 effort Oct. 12 in Los Angeles.
- Scored the deciding shootout goal in a 1-0 win over NY Rangers on Oct. 20…It was his fifth career shootout deciding goal.
- Took his first career penalty shot on Oct. 27, unsuccessful vs. Philadelphia's Martin Biron.
- Has taken two shootout shots (one deciding goal).

91-Marc Savard-C
- Had his career-best 12-game assist/point streak stopped Dec. 8 in Toronto with 2-17-19 totals in that span…Had an assist Nov. 10 vs. Buffalo; a 1-1-2 effort Nov. 15 vs. Toronto with the goal coming just 0:19 into the game; three assists Nov. 17 in Montreal; single assists each Nov. 20 in Toronto, Nov. 23 vs. NY Islanders and Nov. 24 at NY Islanders; a 1-3-4 performance Nov. 26 in Philadelphia; two assists Nov. 29 in Florida; and single assists each Dec. 1 in Tampa Bay, Dec. 3 at NY Islanders, Dec. 5 in New Jersey and Dec. 6 vs. Montreal.
- Has 4-20-24 totals in 16 of his last 19 games.
- Has six multiple-point games.
- Had a three-game assist streak from Oct. 27-Nov. 3 (1-3-4 totals).
- Recorded his 500th NHL point with the first assist of a 1-4-5 effort Oct. 12 in Los Angeles…Played his 600th NHL game Nov. 10 vs. Buffalo.
- Has missed one game to injury (1-groin, Oct. 10)…Missed the Oct. 10 game in Anaheim with the injury, snapping his consecutive games-played stretch at 166 games dating back to his previous game missed (April 3, 2004 at Ottawa while with Atlanta).
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