Bruins Look to Even First-Round Series Against Sabres

Bruins Look to Even First-Round Series Against Sabres The Bruins and Sabres will play a postseason matinee in Buffalo as the B's shoot to even the series at one game apiece before returning to Boston.

As expected, Game 1 was a tightly contested game with stellar goaltending on both ends and suffocating defense that made it difficult to get any real scoring chances. The Bruins will do their best to change that and avoid falling into a 2-0 series hole.

WHEN AND WHERE

Boston Bruins (39-30-13) vs. Buffalo Sabres (45-27-10)
Game 2 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
April 17, 1 p.m. (NBC)
HSBC Arena Buffalo, N.Y.

HEAD TO HEAD

The Sabres lead the series 1-0. The Bruins were 4-2-0 against the Sabres in the regular season. Games 3 and 4 will be in Boston at the TD Garden on Monday and Wednesday.

GOALTENDING MATCHUP

Bruins
Tuukka Rask is 0-1-0 with a 2.03 GAA and .938 save percentage after making 30 saves in the 2-1 Game 1 loss. He was 22-12-5 this season with an NHL-leading 1.97 goals-against average and .931 save percentage to go with five shutouts. Rask had a 4-1 record with a 1.43 GAA and .954 save percentage against Buffalo this season. He made 33 saves in the 4-2 win over Carolina last Saturday and has not lost in regulation since a 1-0 loss to Florida on April 1. He was 4-1-1 in his final six regular-season starts.

Tim Thomas is 0-0-0 in the postseason. 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 26 minutes, allowing three goals in a 3-2 Bruins loss.

Sabres
Ryan Miller is 1-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .974 save percentage after making 38 saves in Game 1. He was 41-18-8 this season, second to Rask in GAA (2.22) and save percentage (.929) and, just like Rask, Miller had five shutouts. He was 2-0-2 against the Bruins this season.

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.

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
Tyler Ennis–Connolly–Jason Pominville
Tim Kennedy–Derek Roy–Thomas Vanek
Adam Mair–Paul Gaustad–Mike Grier
Raffi Torres–Matt Ellis–Patrick Kaleta

Defenseman
Tyler Myers–Henrik Tallinder
Craig Rivet–Steve Montador
Toni Lydman–Chris Butler

Goaltenders
Ryan Miller
Patrick Lalime

STAT SHEET

Bruins

  • Mark Recchi scored his 51st career playoff goal in Game 1. It was his 124th career playoff point.
  • Zdeno Chara had a helper on the Recchi goal, and counting the regular season, he now has an assist in each of his last five games.
  • The Bruins' power play, an Achilles' heel all season, went 1-for-2 in Game 1.

Sabres

  • Thomas Vanek scored the first Sabres goal in Game 1, and counting the regular season, he has now scored six goals in his last three games.
  • Derek Roy assisted on Vanek’s goal, and counting the regular season, he now has a five-game point streak going with seven points during that span.
  • Craig Rivet scored the game-winner in Game 1. The Sabres' captain had only one goal during the regular season and hadn’t registered a point since March 27.

BLACK AND BLUE

Bruins

  • Mark Stuart is out for at least the first round of the playoffs following surgery for cellulitis on his right pinkie finger.
  • Dennis Seidenberg had surgery for a lacerated flexor carpi radialis tendon in his left forearm and is out for eight weeks.
  • Marc Savard is out indefinitely with a Grade 2 concussion.

Sabres

  • Jochen Hecht is a game-time decision with an upper-body injury.
  • Drew Stafford is doubtful with a concussion.

OUTLOOK

Game 1 was a game of inches, and Game 2 promises to be the same. That’s why, regardless of how many shots the Bruins unload, they must make them count and create traffic in front of Ryan Miller. Look for the Bruins' forwards to follow the lead of the only Bruin to score, Mark Recchi, and crash the net like "The Recching Ball" does every game.