GAME: Boston Bruins (26-14-11-4) at Buffalo Sabres (23-25-5-1).
TIME: Thursday, 7 p.m. EST.
It's been more than 11 years since the Buffalo Sabres won five straight
The Boston Bruins did it last month.
Two of the league's hottest teams - both seeking their fifth straight
victory - meet at HSBC Arena.
Though the teams in front of them continue to win, the Sabres have pulled
within seven points of the New York Islanders for the final playoff spot in the
Buffalo has been off since completing a home-and-home sweep of the New York
Rangers with a 3-1 victory Saturday.
J.P. Dumont and Maxim Afinogenov scored power-play goals in the first period
and Martin Biron continued his strong play with 31 saves, leading the Sabres to
their season-high fourth straight win.
Buffalo hasn't won five in a row since a six-game streak during the 1992-93
"Guys are feeling like they're accomplishing something, but it's far from
being mission accomplished," Biron said. "We have to keep our focus on the
goal, and our goal is to keep moving up, getting some points, getting some
Biron has won each of his last five starts while yielding seven goals.
Boston is coming off its fourth straight win, 5-4 over visiting Atlanta on
Tuesday. Joe Thornton and Glen Murray combined for three goals and two assists
and Brian Rolston snapped a tie with 93 seconds left in regulation.
The Bruins have been one of the league's hottest teams in 2004, going 12-3-1
to move within two points of Northeast Division-leading Toronto.
"We've got a lot of guys committed to doing the little things and the
little things lead to the big things," Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. "It's
about holding everyone accountable and our players are buying into that."
For the past two games, Sullivan has used left wing Sergei Samsonov on a
line with Rolston and rookie Patrice Bergeron. That line has three goals and
three assists in that span.
"It's easy to play with those two," Rolston said. "Sergei dances with the
puck and finds me. I try to get away from them. I don't want to get in their
Boston's top line of Thornton, Murray and Mike Knuble has been even better,
producing six goals and six assists in the last two games. Murray may be the
league's hottest player with goals in five straight games. He has 10 goals and
three assists in his last nine contests.
Felix Potvin was in net for Tuesday's win, meaning Andrew Raycroft will
likely get the start Thursday.
Raycroft has allowed two goals during a personal three-game win streak, and
is among the league leaders with a 1.89 goals-against average.