BUFFALO NY - NOVEMBER 03: Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins collides with Patrick Kaleta #36 of the Buffalo Sabres at the HSBC Arena on November 3 2010 in Buffalo New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The Bruins will host the Buffalo Sabres tonight at TD Garden in what could be a match-up between the league's two hottest goalies. Tim Thomas enters tonight' game as the league leader in save percentage (.956), GAA (1.46), and shutouts (5), while Ryan Miller is coming off back-to-back shutouts and has not allowed a goal in his last 148 minutes and 14 seconds of ice time.
The Sabres struggled to start the year, going 3-7-2 in the month of October including a 1-4-1 start to the season. The Sabres have begun to the right the ship a bit in Buffalo by taking points in 9 of their last 13 games during a stretch when they have gone 8-4-1.
Th Sabres have relied heavily on Ryan Miller this year and are much better team with him between the pipes. Buffalo is 9-7-2 with Miller in net compared to 2-6-1 without him. His save percentage (.922) and GAA (2.26) both rank 8th in the league.
Buffalo has struggled to put the puck in the net this season. Their 2.41 goals per game ranks 25th in the NHL. Thomas Vanek (10 goals) and Derek Roy (9 goals) have led the way for the Sabres offensively and account for 19 of their 65 goals (29.2%).
Buffalo has had some issues on the blue line this year with Captain Craig Rivet often the healthy scratch and Calder Trophy winner Tyler Myers failing to live up to last year's performance. Myers is tied for worst on the team in +/- with former Bruin Shaone Morrisonn, who each are at minus-10. A few bright spots of the Sabres defense corps have been off-season signing Jordan Leopold, who has 16 points (7-9-16) and former Bruin blueliner Steve Montador, who is a team-best plus-16 on the season.
This is the second of six meeting between the Bruins and Sabres this year. The B's took the first contest 5-2 back on November 3rd in Buffalo.
Buffalo Sabres Injuries
- The Bruins have a clean bill of health besides Marco Sturm, who is recovering from knee surgery.
- The Bruins sent Jordan Caron to Providence.
- Buffalo has struggled to score goals, especially on the power play. They are 21st in the league on the power play (15.2%).
- The B's are 10-4-2 when being outshot this year. The good news is that they are getting great goaltending. The bad news is they have been outshot 16 times this year.
- Tonight's game is on Versus in the Lower 48 and TSN2 Up North. As always, Dave Goucher and Bob Beers have the radio call on 98.5 The Sports.
- The game starts at 7:30 PM ET. The Public Skate open thread gets going at 7:00 PM ET.
- For more on this game, check out SB Nation's Buffalo Sabres blog, Die By The Blade