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Boston Bruins vs. Buffalo Sabres @NHL
Bruins-Sabres Preview

GAME: Boston Bruins (0-1-0) at Buffalo Sabres (1-0-0).

TIME: Friday, 8 p.m. EDT.

The Boston Bruins hope their first road game creates more special teams success as they play the Buffalo Sabres in a Northeast Division matchup.

The Bruins squandered seven opportunities with the man advantage in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. They also wasted a four-minute power play in the second period and failed to score on four chances in the final 20 minutes.

"We didn't execute on the power play and that was the difference," Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We had the opportunities to break the game open and we didn't."

The frustration on the power play was magnified when the Bruins special teams allowed a power-play goal with 11.1 seconds to play for the winning goal. Boston's Tom Fitzgerald was called for hooking with 26 seconds remaining.

"We've all had explained as to what is going to be called," said Fitzgerald, who had three of Boston's five penalties. "Players were on the rules committee, so we all have to adjust."

The Sabres were expected to struggle offensively after letting forward Miroslav Satan and defenseman Alexei Zhitnik leave via free agency to the New York Islanders. But Daniel Briere and Maxim Afinogenov were more than able to compensate for one game as both players netted two goals in Buffalo's 6-4 win over New York.

Briere scored a crucial goal to restore a two-goal cushion after Ryan Miller allowed a 100-foot shot by Zhitnik midway through the period.

"That's the kind of leader we have in Danny right there, he's not going to be rattled by anything," Miller said. "It feels good. That's why I'm smiling right now. I'm not going to be too hard on myself when we win."

The Bruins are 11-4-1 in their last 16 games against the Sabres since the 2001-02 season.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 5): Bruins - 0 points, 5th place, 2 PB, Northeast Division. Sabres - 2 points, 1st place (tied), Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Bruins - Patrice Bergeron, 1 goal; Ian Moran and Pat Leahy, 1 assist; Bergeron, Moran and Leahy, 1 point; Fitzgerald, 6 PIM. Sabres - Briere and Afinogenov, 2 goals; eight players with 1 assist; Briere, 3 points; Afinogenov and Jay McKee, 4 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 5): Bruins - Power play: 0.0 percent (0 for 7), 21st (Tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.0 percent (4 for 5), 23rd. Sabres - Power play: 18.1 percent (2 for 11), 9th. Penalty killing: 85.7 percent (6 for 7), 17th.

GOALTENDERS: Bruins - Andrew Raycroft (0-1-0, 0 SO, 2.00 GAA); Hannu Toivonen (no record). Sabres - Ryan Miller (1-0-0, 0, 4.00); Mika Noronen (no record).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 5-1-0.

LAST MEETING: March 13, 2004; Bruins 3-2 (OT). At Boston, Mike Knuble scored with four seconds to play in overtime to complete a comeback from a first-period, two-goal deficit and hand the Sabres a second overtime loss to sweep a home-and-home series.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bruins - 0-0-0 on the road; Sabres - 1-0-0 at home.

Associated Press

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