BOSTON - The Bruins kick off a back-to-back on Monday night when they host the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden.
Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
After hosting the Sabres, the Bruins will jet to Montreal to face off against the Canadiens on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
They're embarking on a stretch of five games in seven days, bookended by two back-to-backs. Hence, Sunday was an off day for the team to recover before getting back on the ice Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena.
"Obviously it's not an easy schedule and you have got to manage it the best you can," said Head Coach Claude Julien. "[Sunday] was another day off the ice - we've got to conserve our energy for the games."
"Hopefully, the better we play as a team, the easier that it's going to be, because we'll be able to utilize everybody. If we have some guys that aren't going well, then you shorten up your bench and that's where eventually it catches up to you."
The Bruins' bench boss was pleased with the team's five-on-five play on Saturday against the New York Rangers, but their special teams let them down, letting in two shorthanded goals during the man advantage en route to a 5-2 loss.
"We had a real bad night the other night [on the power play], and our power play hasn't been great this year," said Julien. "I think our players have to see the seams and have to see the plays quicker and better than they have so far."
The power play is 3-for-38 this season, with Ryan Spooner netting two goals and David Pastrnak scoring once.
Monday's morning skate featured plenty of special teams work for both units. The first unit found plenty of success last season, with returning members David Krejci, Torey Krug, Patrice Bergeron and Spooner, along with Backes as the newcomer in front. Right now, it's more about confidence than anything else.
"That same group was really successful last year," said Julien. "Even without Loui, we still have enough there to make it happen, but we're slow reacting, we're not seeing the seams, we're not seeing the shots, so we've got to keep working on it. That's what we tried to do this morning and we did some video and we did some work and hopefully we'll get better."
"Our five-on-five play last game was really good. Had our special teams been good, we could have won that game."
The other power play unit featured John-Michael Liles and Austin Czarnik on the points, with Matt Beleskey, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak up front.
Projected Lineup Against Buffalo
Based on the pregame skate line rushes, the Bruins' lineup appears to be the same as on Saturday night. Jimmy Hayes rotated into rushes up front after the first set. On the back end, Joe Morrow stayed on the ice for extra work after the skate.
Tuukka Rask was the first netminder off the ice, and is expected to start between the pipes.
Robin Lehner will be in goal for the Sabres, who have won four of their past five games.
Goaltender Anton Khudobin was on the ice prior to the Bruins' pregame skate, along with Brian Ferlin (lower body) and Kevan Miller (hand). Khudobin has yet to start holding a stick again during his skates.
Pregame Skate Lines and Defense Pairings 11/7
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Ryan Spooner-David Krejci-David Backes
Matt Beleskey-Riley Nash-Austin Czarnik
Tim Schaller-Dominic Moore-Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
John-Michael Liles-Colin Miller
Projected Starting Goalie: Tuukka Rask // Backup: Zane McIntyre
Projected Scratches: Joe Morrow, Jimmy Hayes