(SportsNetwork.com) – The Boston Bruins suffered a late collapse to lose for
the second time in three games the last time out, but they hope to get back on
track Thursday when they visit the lowly Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara
The Bruins appeared well on their way to a second straight win Tuesday against
Minnesota, as Boston led 3-1 after 40 minutes. But the Wild scored three
unanswered tallies in the third period to skate out of Beantown with a 4-3
The setback dropped the B’s to 1-1 without captain and star defenseman Zdeno
Chara in the lineup. Chara, who will be sidelined 4-to-6 weeks with a ligament
tear in his right knee, suffered his injury in last Thursday’s loss to the New
York Islanders. Boston posted a 4-1 win over Toronto in its first test without
Chara before blowing a third-period lead en route to Tuesday’s defeat.
Minnesota received goals from Zach Parise and Justin Fontaine in the early
part of the third period before Marco Scandella notched the game-winning goal
with 5:53 left.
Seth Griffith had two goals and an assist in defeat and Milan Lucic supplied a
goal and a helper for the Bruins.
Tuukka Rask made 38 saves in the loss. The goaltender was peppered with 18
shots in the third period alone.
“There is no excuse why we shouldn’t have been the better team in the third,”
Rask said. “It was a good learning experience for us.”
Rask is expected to start tonight and he is 6-5-1 with a 2.43 goals against
average in his career against Buffalo.
The Sabres offer an excellent chance for Boston to get back in the win column.
Buffalo is just 2-8-0 on the season and already has a minus-22 goal
differential through 10 games.
Buffalo halted a four-game slide with Saturday’s surprising 2-1 win in San
Jose, but then followed with Tuesday’s 4-0 setback in Toronto. The road loss
against the Maple Leafs marked the fourth time the Sabres have been shut out
in six games.
The Sabres only managed to put 10 shots on net in Tuesday’s loss, setting a
club record for fewest shots in a game. The previous low of 11 was set
on Dec. 3, 1981 against Boston.
Toronto also set a club mark for the fewest shots allowed in a game.
Michael Neuvirth stopped 33-of-37 shots for Buffalo, which has scored just 10
times this season.
“We had nothing. Toronto had everything going,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said.
Buffalo will try to bounce back Thursday, but the Bruins already have shut out
the Sabres this season, posting a 4-0 win in Boston on Oct. 18. Niklas
Svedberg posted the shutout for the B’s with 32 saves.
Boston has won three of the last four encounters with the Sabres overall and
has three victories in its past five trips to Buffalo.
The Bruins will follow Thursday’s tilt with a four-game homestand that begins
Saturday against Ottawa. Buffalo visits Pittsburgh on Saturday before
returning to Western New York for a four-game homestand of its own.
Jhonas Enroth will start in net for Buffalo. The 26-year-old Swede is just
1-5-2 with a 3.89 GAA in his career against the Bruins.