8 a.m. ET: The Bruins are already one-eighth of the way into their season, but they’ve yet to take on any Northeast Division rivals. That will change on Thursday night when they welcome the Buffalo Sabres to town.
The B’s and Sabres will renew what’s become one of the game’s better rivalries at TD Garden on Thursday night. The B’s are flying high, entering the game with a 5-0-1 record, fresh off a big shootout win over the Devils on Tuesday.
While the Bruins are right where they want to be, the Sabres are struggling out of the gates. They’ll enter Thursday’s clash in last place in the Northeast, with a 2-3-1 record in their first six games. The Sabres had a strong two-game start to the season with wins over the Flyers and Maple Leafs, but they haven’t won since, their most recent setback coming Tuesday night in overtime with a loss to the Leafs.
The Sabres may be without agitating forward Patrick Kaleta on Thursday night. He suffered what Lindy Ruff described as a neck injury Tuesday night, an injury that actually sent Kaleta to the hospital.
Kaleta usually plays a key role in Bruins-Sabres games that have gotten a little bit more intense in the past couple of years. Much of that circled around the Milan Lucic hit on Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller in a game last fall. The Sabres didn’t respond in that game, and were justly criticized for it. It’s probably safe to assume that the same thing won’t happen anymore, especially when you look at what the Sabres did this offseason. They added John Scott, one of the league’s toughest and biggest enforcers, as well as Steve Ott, who is no stranger to the Bruins from his days in Dallas.
Add it all up, and it figures to be an entertaining tilt from the Garden. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m., and we’ll have you covered with updates throughout the day.