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After extra day off, Bruins ready for Sabres

by Brian Compton /

BRUINS (7-1-1) at SABRES (5-6-1)

TV: NESN, MSG-Buffalo

Last 10
: Buffalo 3-6-1.

Season series: This is the second of five meetings. The Sabres earned a 7-4 win against the Bruins on Jan. 31 at TD Garden.

Big story: Boston received an unexpected extra day off Saturday as a blizzard that crushed much of the northeast forced its game against the Tampa Bay Lightning to be postponed. A makeup date has yet to be announced.

Team Scope:

Bruins: Boston is off to a tremendous start, earning points in eight of its first nine games. The Bruins have won back-to-back games since that aforementioned 7-4 loss to the Sabres and are coming off a 2-1 win at Montreal last Wednesday night. Both of Boston’s tallies came in the first 2:05 of the third period, and Tuukka Rask did the rest in a 20-save performance.

"He's had the right attitude," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of his goaltender, who improved to 6-1-1. "With the high expectations, he's just doing his job. He's a normal goaltender, which might be a surprise to a lot of people. But he's so easy going. There are no issues."

Sabres: It’s hard to win a hockey game when you’re outshot 43-15, but the Sabres did just that with Saturday night’s 3-2 victory against the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Alexander Sulzer broke a 2-2 tie less than eight minutes into the third period, while Ryan Miller made 41 saves to help end a streak that saw Buffalo allow four or more goals in six straight games.

"Every season you're going to have a couple of games like that," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "Our puck movement wasn't good, we got caught in our end a few times, but Ryan made the big saves when we needed them."

Who's hot: Bruins center David Krejci is averaging a point per game for the Bruins with three goals and six assists in nine games. Meanwhile, Rask is boasting a 1.96 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in his eight appearances. … Sabres winger Thomas Vanek had a goal and an assist Saturday night and leads the National Hockey League with 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in 11 contests.

Injury report: The Bruins are expected to be without Shawn Thornton (concussion), Dan Paille (eye) and Brad Marchand (shoulder). … Sabres defenseman Robyn Regehr (lower body) is questionable.

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