(SportsNetwork.com) – After failing to win consecutive games for the first
time in a month, the Boston Bruins now try to avoid an eighth loss in 10
December games on Sunday evening when they take on the Buffalo Sabres.
The Bruins snapped a three-game slide with an overtime victory at Minnesota on
Tuesday, but capped a three-game swing the following night with a 2-1 setback
to the Winnipeg Jets.
Defenseman Torey Krug scored the only goal of the game for the Bruins and
Tuukka Rask allowed both goals on 27 shots.
“We’ve talked about keeping things going and getting in a groove by getting a
win tonight, but we didn’t,” said Rask.
The Bruins were hoping for their first winning streak since a three-game run
from Nov. 15-21, but instead fell to 3-6-3 since that time. They also have
been held to three goals or fewer 10 times in that 12-game span.
“Scoring goals, that’s what’s missing right now,” Bruins defenseman Zdeno
Chara said on his team’s website. “You know, it’s one of those things that we
need to I guess, a little bit of luck, maybe a bounce here or there.”
Hosting the Sabres could help. The Bruins have won three in a row in this
matchup, including the first two meetings this season that both took place in
They have won two straight and five of the past seven meetings in Boston.
Rask is 6-5-1 in his career versus the Sabres with a 2.44 goals against
average and .923 save percentage in 14 career encounters, all but one of those
The Sabres come into Boston at less than full strength, battling both illness
Matt Moulson was a scratch in Saturday’s 5-1 setback to the Colorado Avalanche
due to flu-like symptoms, while fellow forward Patrick Kaleta was unable to
finish the game because of feeling sick.
Buffalo also lost defenseman Tyler Myers to a lower-body injury in the second
period and he is questionable for tonight’s game.
As a result, the Sabres had a six-game winning streak at home snapped and have
been outscored 10-2 in back-to-back losses following a four-game overall
Johan Larsson had a third-period goal for his first career NHL tally. He was
recalled late in the day from the American Hockey League to replace Moulson
and didn’t even get to the arena in time for warmups.
“He had to rush here. Under those circumstances, he played well, plus he
scored his first (NHL) goal,” said Sabres coach Ted Nolan.
Jhonas Enroth stopped 18-of-22 shots for Buffalo, which will try to win for
the first time in its past four on the road tonight.
Michal Neuvirth could start this game for the Sabres and is 1-3-0 lifetime
versus the Bruins with a 3.66 GAA and .861 save percentage in six meetings,
including four starts.