Bruins Hoping to Take Series Lead Over Buffalo With Game 3 Victory

Bruins Hoping to Take Series Lead Over Buffalo With Game 3 Victory The Bruins took back home-ice advantage with a gutsy 5-3 comeback win in Game 2 at Buffalo on Saturday, and now they can take advantage of what promises to be a raucous TD Garden crowd on Patriots' Day in Boston.

The Bruins’ resiliency was questioned all season, but now they have shown that they have the fight they need to win big games, and they will have to feed off that momentum in this one. If successful, they could take a 2-1 series lead and position themselves to take command of this best-of-seven series.

WHEN AND WHERE

Boston Bruins (1-1) vs. Buffalo Sabres (1-1)
Game 3, Eastern Conference quarterfinals
April 19, 7 p.m. (NESN)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.

HEAD TO HEAD

The Bruins and Sabres are tied 1-1 in this best-of-seven series. Games 3 and 4 will be in Boston at TD Garden on Monday and Wednesday, with Game 5 back in Buffalo on Friday.

GOALTENDING MATCHUP

Bruins
Tuukka Rask is 1-1 with a 2.03 GAA and .918 save percentage after making 26 saves in the 5-3 Game 2 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. 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 1-1 with a 2.52 GAA and .928 save percentage after a 26-save performance in the 5-3 Game 2 loss. 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. 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/Daniel Paille–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Marco Sturm–David Krejci–Miroslav Satan
Blake Wheeler–Vladimir Sobotka–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille/Milan Lucic–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton

Note: It is not known if Milan Lucic will be back with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi. He was dropped to the fourth line in Game 2 and switched spots with Daniel Paille.

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

Goaltenders
Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas

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

Note: Thomas Vanek is doubtful with a lower-body injury and it is not known who will replace him.

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

Goaltenders
Ryan Miller
Patrick Lalime

STAT SHEET

Bruins

  • Zdeno Chara scored the game-winner in Game 2 and added another goal for the 5-3 win. He now has two goals and an assist in the series.
  • Michael Ryder scored two goals in Game 2 and now has four goals in his last three games, including a two-goal performance in the season finale, a 4-3 shootout win at Washington on April 11.
  • Mark Recchi sealed the deal with an empty-netter in Game 2 and now has two goals in the series after scoring the Bruins’ lone goal in Game 1.

Sabres

  • Thomas Vanek has a goal and an assist in the series but is doubtful for Game 3.
  • Tyler Myers scored the Sabres’ first goal in Game 2. It was the first career playoff goal for the Calder Trophy candidate.
  • The Sabres’ power play is 0-for-9 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 six more weeks.
  • Marc Savard is out indefinitely with a Grade 2 concussion.

Sabres

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

OUTLOOK

The Bruins were successful in rattling the normally calm Ryan Miller in Game 2 by driving to the net and shooting whenever they could. They must continue that if they hope to win Game 3.

However, they must also be careful not to rest on their laurels of Game 2 and follow up one big win with another, something they rarely accomplished this season.

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