If they were to do so, they would be in position to clinch a berth in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday in Game 5 at Buffalo. Should they lose, the Bruins will return home for another playoff game to what has become a raucous TD Garden. Needless to say, they’re hoping they win Wednesday night and position themselves to not have to return home until the second round.
Boston Bruins (2-1-0) vs. Buffalo Sabres (1-2-0)
Game 4, Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
April 21, 7 p.m. (NESN)
TD Garden, Boston, MA
The Bruins lead this best-of-seven series 2-1. Game 4 will be in Boston at TD Garden Wednesday night with Game 5 back in Buffalo on Friday.
Tuukka Rask is 2-1-0 with a 2.01 GAA and .936 save percentage after making 32 saves in the 2-1 Game 3 win. He was 22-12-5 this season with a League-leading 1.97 goals-against average and .931 save percentage to go with five shutouts.
Tim Thomas is 0-0-0. He was 16-18-8 with a 2.55 GAA, .915 save percentage and five shutouts this season. In his only appearance against Buffalo this season, Thomas was pulled after allowing three first period goals in a 3-2 Bruins loss.
Patrick Lalime is 0-0-0. He was 4-8-2 with a 2.81 GAA and .907 save percentage this regular season. He made 31 saves in a 3-1 loss to the Bruins April 8.
Milan Lucic–Patrice Bergeron—Mark Recchi
Marco Sturm–David Krejci–Miroslav Satan
Blake Wheeler–Vladimir Sobotka–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Andrew Ference–Adam McQuaid
Goaltenders Sabres Defenseman
Tyler Ennis–Tim Connolly–Drew Stafford
Raffi Torres–Paul Gaustad–Mike Grier
Chris Butler—Adam Mair–Patrick Kaleta
*Thomas Vanek is highly doubtful but didn’t rule himself out completely. Also, Matt Ellis missed practice yesterday due to a broken nose from the hit he took from Johnny Boychuk. Cody McCormick was called up from Portland of the AHL.
Andrej Sekera–Craig Rivet
Toni Lydman–Steve Montador
With the exception of the eight goals scored in Game 2, this has been the low-scoring series everyone expected but that could change if the Sabres get desperate. Buffalo may try to open it up and use their speed and that can either hurt or benefit the Bruins.
The Sabres are the faster team but if the Bruins maintain their defensive system and Tuukka Rask remains steady between the pipes, the effect of that speed will be minimized.