The Bruins put on a late season surge to move up the standings to the 6th spot in the Eastern Conference and will now take on the #3 seeded Buffalo Sabres in the Eastern Conrefernce Quarterfinals. The action gets underway on Thursday night at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo.
Thursday, April 15th @ Buffalo 7:00 NESN
Saturday, April 17th @ Buffalo 1:00 NBC
Monday, April 19th vs. Buffalo 7:00 NESN and Versus (out of market)
Wednesday, April 21st vs. Buffalo 7:00 NESE and Versus (out of market)
Friday, April 23rd @ Buffalo 7:00 NESN (if needed)
Monday, April 26th vs. Buffalo 7:00 NESN (if needed)
Wednesday, April 28th @ Buffalo 7:00 NESN (if needed)
The Bruins were 4-2-0 vs. Buffalo this season. Two of those wins came in overtime or the shootout. Neither of the two regulations wins for the Bruins came with Ryan Miller in net for the Sabres.
4/8 vs. Buffalo 3-1 W
3/29 vs. Buffalo 3-2 L
2/9 @ Buffalo 3-2 SO W
1/29 @ Buffalo 3-2 L
11/20 @ Buffalo 2-1 OT W
11/7 vs. Buffalo 4-2 W
Probable for Thursday: Andrew Ference (hernia)
Probable for Thursday's Game: Tim Connelly (foot)
|2009 - Tuukka Rask||45||2562||22||12||84||1.97||1221||1137||.931||5|
|2009 - Ryan Miller||69||4047||41||18||150||2.22||2098||1948||.929||5|
The Bruins finished the regular season as the lowest scoring team in the National Hockey League (2.39 goals per game) and the injury to Marc Savard leaves them without a playmaker up front. Patrice Bergeron (19-33-52) and David Krejci (17-35-52) led the B's in points, while Marco Sturm was the team's lone 20 goal scorer with 22 tallies.
The Sabres were 10th in the league in scoring with 2.82 goals per game. The Sabres had four players reach the 20 goal mark: Thomas Vanek (28), Derek Roy (26), Jason Pominville (24), and Jochen Hecht (21).
Department of Defense
The defense has been one of the strong points for the Boston Bruins this season, giving up 2.33 goals per game.(second in NHL). While the blue line has dealt with poor individual play (see #6 in your program) and injuries throughout the season, the overall play has been pretty strong. The injuries to Mark Stuart and Dennis Seidenberg will certainly hurt the B's in their own zone, but young players like Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid have stepped up their games when needed. Te oft-injured Andrew Ferrence is expected to return for a hernia issue sometime during this series. Hopefully, the Bruins back line can hold up to the Sabres' forechecking pressure better than they did last season against the Hurricanes.
Rookie phenom Tyler Myers finished his freshman season in Buffalo with 48 points (11-37-48) and a +13 rating. Aside from Myers, the Sabres have a fairly solid core of serviceable defenseman in Craig Rivet, Henrik Tallinder, and Toni Lydman,.. and oh yeah, they have Steve Montador too.
Edge: Boston...you try skating around or through Big Z
Both teams have been great on the penalty kill and struggled on the power play this season.
Penalty Kill: Buffalo 86.6% (2nd in NHL); Boston 86.4% (3rd in NHL)
Power Play: Buffalo 17.6% (17th in NHL); Boston 16.6% (23rd in NHL)
Edge: Slight Edge to Buffalo
Behind The Bench
Claude Julien has led the Bruins to 3 straight playoff appearances. Lindy Ruff is longest tenured coach in the league and is in his 13th season with Buffalo.
Edge: Buffalo...13 season without getting fired is impressive
Players to Watch:
The Goaltenders: This one has all the right ingredients for a great goalie duel.
Tyler Myers: How will the kid react to the playoff atmosphere?
Patrice Bergeron: Will Bergy be the guy that steps up to lead this team?
Keys to the Series for the Bruins
- Put the damn puck in the net!!!!!
- Win at least one of the first two in Buffalo.
- Get back to playing a more physical brand of hockey.
- Forecheck! The B's have struggled to find the back of the net this season. Pressure the Buffalo puck carriers and create more chances.
- Don't let that gutless P.O.S. Patrick Kaleta bait you into any dumb penalties.
Keys to the Series for the Sabres
- Challenge Rask early in the series.
- Win two in Buffalo.
- Take chances: the Bruins have struggled to score goals, so why not take a few chances and try to create some odd-man rushes?
Probable Lines & D-Pairs for Game 1
Boston (according to Boston.com)
Prediction: Buffalo in 7