Bruins Head to Buffalo Looking to Close Out Sabres in Game 5

Bruins Head to Buffalo Looking to Close Out Sabres in Game 5 The Bruins can clinch a berth in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a win in Game 5 on Friday in Buffalo.

They lead this Eastern Conference quarterfinals series 3-1 after a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 win in double overtime on Wednesday night and have won three straight since losing the first game 2-1. The B’s have shown great resilience and determination in this series, and they will need it Friday in what promises to be a rocking HSBC Arena with Sabres fans trying to help their team avoid elimination.

WHEN AND WHERE

Bruins (3-1-0) vs. Sabres (1-3-0)
Game 5 Eastern Conference quarterfinals
April 23, 7 p.m. (NESN)
HSBC Arena, Buffalo, N.Y.

HEAD TO HEAD

The Bruins lead this best-of-seven series 3-1. Game 5 will be in Buffalo with Game 6, if necessary, back in Boston on Monday.

GOALTENDING MATCHUP

Bruins
Tuukka Rask is 3-1-0 with a 1.80 GAA and .939 save percentage after making 35 saves in the 3-2 Game 4 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.

Sabres
Ryan Miller is 1-3-0 with a 2.26 GAA and .927 save percentage in the playoffs. He made 36 saves in the 3-2 double-overtime loss in Game 4. He was 41-18-8 this season. He was second to Rask in GAA (2.22) and save percentage (.929), and just like Rask, Miller had five shutouts.

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 on April 8.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Bruins
Forwards
Milan Lucic–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Marco Sturm–David Krejci–Miroslav Satan
Blake Wheeler–Vladimir Sobotka–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton

Defensemen
Zdeno Chara–Johnny Boychuk
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Andrew Ference–Adam McQuaid

Goaltenders
Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas

Sabres
Forwards
Drew Stafford–Derek Roy–Jason Pominville
Paul Gaustad–Tim Connolly–Mike Grier
Tyler Ennis–Adam Mair–Cody McCormick
Raffi Torres–Tim Kennedy–Patrick Kaleta

Defenseman
Henrik Tallinder–Tyler Myers
Andrej Sekera–Craig Rivet
Toni Lydman–Steve Montador

Goaltenders
Ryan Miller
Patrick Lalime

STAT SHEET

Bruins

  • Patrice Bergeron scored the game-tying goal in Game 4 and added an assist. He now has two goals and two assists in the series, leading the Bruins with four points.
  • Miroslav Satan scored the OT game-winner in Game 4 and now has 17 career playoff goals and 46 points in 77 playoff games. His last playoff OT winner was with Buffalo in 1999.
  • The Bruins are 17-1 when leading a series by a 3-1 margin.

Sabres

  • Tim Kennedy scored for Buffalo and now has a goal and an assist in the series.
  • Tyler Ennis had an assist and now has two helpers in the series.
  • The Sabres are 0-for-14 on the power play in the series.

BLACK AND BLUE

Bruins

  • Mark Stuart is out for at least the first round following surgery for cellulitis on his right pinky finger.
  • Dennis Seidenberg had surgery for a lacerated flexor carpi radialis tendon in his left forearm and is out for five more weeks.
  • Marc Savard is still out with a concussion but has been skating all week. His return date is unknown.

Sabres

  • Matt Ellis is day-to-day with a broken nose.
  • Thomas Vanek is a game-time decision for Game 5 with a sprained ankle. Vanek skated again Thursday day and will test his ankle and foot in the gameday skate Friday.
  • Jochen Hecht is out indefinitely after left pinky finger surgery.

OUTLOOK

The Bruins have fallen behind 1-0 in every game of this series, but with Buffalo facing elimination and looking to ride any wave of momentum they can find, the Bruins will need to do their best to light the lamp first and quiet the HSBC Arena fans. Setting the tempo and possibly erasing any thoughts that the Sabres can come back will be the key.

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