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Surging Sabres visit red-hot Bruins

by Sergei J. Feldman

SABRES (10-5-0) at BRUINS (7-7-0)


Last 10: Buffalo 6-4-0; Boston 6-4-0

Season Series: This will be the first of six meetings between the two Northeast Division foes. Last season, the Sabres took four of six games from the eventual Stanley Cup champs.

Big Story: Both teams are riding four-game winning streaks. The Sabres extended theirs on Friday with a 5-1 win at home against Ottawa, while the Bruins continued their offensive tear by beating Edmonton 6-3 on Thursday.

Sabres: After dropping their first game of the month to Philadelphia, the Sabres have rebounded strongly, particularly the offense, which has generated 11 goals in the past two games. The biggest change has been in goal, where rookie Jhonas Enroth has started three of the four games during the winning streak. He stopped 36 shots in the win against the Senators.

"He's done a good job coming in," said forward Derek Roy, who had a goal and a pair of assists on Friday. "He's stepped up in the games, made big saves for us, and has gotten some big wins for us."

Bruins: If the Bruins really did have the proverbial "Stanley Cup hangover," it's gone. Beginning with a 5-3 win against Ottawa last week, the B's have rolled up 24 goals in winning their last four games to get back to the .500 mark.

"We didn't seem to have the same determination in our game," forward Brad Marchand said of the team's poor start. "Right now, it just seems like everyone's buying into the system and what we have to do because we're working a little harder, we're getting some bounces, as well."

Who's Hot: The Sabres' offense during the winning streak has been led by Roy, who has four goals and eight points in the four games. .. Boston's second-year center, Tyler Seguin, has eight points in his past five outings.

Injury Report: For the Sabres, center Jochen Hecht remains out indefinitely with a concussion, while Tyler Ennis is week-to-week with an ankle injury. … The Bruins will be without defenseman Andrew Ference (lower body), Daniel Paille (nose), Rich Peverley (undisclosed), all of whom are day-to-day.

Stat Pack: Enroth has won all five of his starts this season and has gone nearly a year without a regulation loss -- he's 12-0-2 since losing 1-0 at Pittsburgh last Nov. 24

Puck Drop: Paille talked to the media Friday with a bandage on his nose, a souvenir of a shot by Islanders defenseman Steve Staios last Monday. Paille, who wears a visor, took the shot right in the face and left the game immediately. He sat out Thursday but was at Friday's practice, though he won't play against Buffalo.

"Right after the game and right after they stitched it up, I went to the mirror and I checked it out and my nose was pretty flat," Paille said. "It could've been a lot worse though, so I was really happy with the result after the game. I wasn't too sure what it was but I was happy I was OK."

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