Bruins-Sabres Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 10, 2013
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Only the weather and the Buffalo Sabres have been able to keep the Boston Bruins from piling up points this season. Red-hot Thomas Vanek and the Sabres have another opportunity to continue that success. After a major storm kept the Bruins from playing for a third straight win, they'll try to avenge their only regulation defeat of the season Sunday night in Buffalo. Boston (7-1-1) has been one of the league's best teams in the early going, recording at least one point in all but one of its Eastern Conference-low nine games. The Bruins were scheduled to host Tampa Bay on Saturday, but the game was postponed to an undetermined date after a major blizzard coated the Northeast. The only time Boston failed to get at least one point in the standings was a 7-4 loss to Buffalo (5-6-1) at home Jan. 31, when they gave up four unanswered goals in the third period. Boston followed that up with back-to-back road victories, rallying to beat Montreal 2-1 on Wednesday in the team's most recent appearance. Tyler Seguin and David Krejci did all the scoring for the Bruins in the opening 2:05 of the third period after coach Claude Julien juggled his lines, putting Seguin with Krejci and Milan Lucic. "We needed to create more scoring chances," Julien said. "That Krejci line's been awesome for us but (Wednesday) they weren't able to generate much, so I said, 'Let's move guys around here and give them a little spark,' and it worked out." Krejci had a goal versus the Sabres on Jan. 31, but he has just two with four assists in 15 career regular-season visits to Buffalo. Seguin has 11 points in 11 meetings with the division rival, assisting on one of Brad Marchand's two goals in the last matchup. Marchand's status for this game is unclear after he sat out Wednesday with an upper-body injury. He leads the team with five goals, and he has that many in the past seven games against the Sabres. The extended layoff due to the storm could mean another start for Tuukka Rask, who has stopped 41 of 42 shots with a shutout over the last two games after surrendering a career-high six goals in the loss to the Sabres. Rask is 0-4-1 with a 4.25 goals-against average in his last six starts versus Buffalo. Vanek had the second of his two five-point games this season against the Bruins, scoring three goals and assisting on two others. His 28 goals and 54 points in 46 meetings with Boston are his highest totals against any opponent. The foe hasn't made much of a difference this season for Vanek, who leads the NHL with 11 goals and 23 points. He continued his stellar season with a goal and an assist in a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday, Buffalo's second straight following a three-game skid. Ryan Miller was the real hero for the Sabres, stopping a season-high 41 shots as his team was outshot 43-15. "Every season you're going to have games like that," coach Lindy Ruff said. Miller made 38 saves in Boston last month, beating the Bruins for the seventh time in eight starts. That includes winning all four meetings at home behind a 2.17 goals-against average with one shutout.
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