BOSTON — The Buffalo Sabres have lost five in a row and nine of their last 10. And on Saturday afternoon, they’ll go up against just about a full complement of Bruins who are coming off two consecutive losses.
It’s almost enough to make you feel bad for the Sabres.
Bruins coach Claude Julien revealed Saturday morning that he won’t rest anyone when his team and the Sabres meet at TD Garden in Boston’s regular-season home finale. That, however, doesn’t include center Chris Kelly, who will miss the game with back spasms. Kelly also will sit out Sunday’s regular-season finale in New Jersey, with the hopes of being ready for the playoffs next week.
An otherwise full lineup means the return of a couple of key Bruins veterans. Defenseman Zdeno Chara and center Patrice Bergeron both sat out Thursday’s game in Winnipeg, as Chara was a healthy scratch and Bergeron nursed a “minor injury.” Having everything wrapped up has allowed the Bruins to rest veterans like Bergeron and Chara, as well as David Krejci. It also has allowed them to rest players such as forward Jarome Iginla and defenseman Kevan Miller, who had been dealing with some bumps and bruises of their own.
Tuukka Rask will start in net, and one would imagine this would be his last of the regular season. Matt Hackett will start for the Sabres.
Here are the full projected lines and defensive pairings for Saturday’s game.
Bruins (53-18-9, 115 points)
Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Reilly Smith
Jordan Caron — Carl Soderberg — Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille — Gregory Campbell — Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara — Dougie Hamilton
Matt Bartkowski — Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug — Kevan Miller
Sabres (21-50-9 51 points)
Cody Hodgson — Zemgus Girgensons — Chris Stewart
Matt D’Agostini — Tyler Ennis — Drew Stafford
Nick Foligno — Brian Flynn — Torrey Mitchell
John Scott — Matt Ellis — Cory Conacher
Christian Erhoff — Rasmsu Ristolainen
Henrik Tallinder — Mike Weber
Jake McCabe — Jamie McBain