Bruins Want ‘Grade A’ Scoring Opportunities Against Ryan Miller and Sabres Defense

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Bruins Want 'Grade A' Scoring Opportunities Against Ryan Miller and Sabres Defense It's an exciting day here in Buffalo, as the Sabres and Bruins get ready for Game 1 in what many are predicting to be a very long series between two pretty evenly matched teams.

Buffalo's Tim Connolly (second on the Sabres in points) is expected to be back after recovering from what was reportedly a foot injury. He missed the last nine games, including the most recent two games against Boston. Andrew Ference, who has been dealing with a groin injury/hernia, will be returning to the lineup for Boston.

I got a chance to ask the Boston players what they think will be the keys to this series. Here's a compilation of their responses:

  • Good breakouts. Make tape-to-tape passes.
  • Good forecheck, especially in the neutral zone.
  • Puck management. Limit turnovers.
  • Spend time in offensive zone, be aggressive in setting up the cycle, make good pinches by defensemen.
  • Net-front presence. Make sure there is traffic in front.
  • Get "grade A" scoring opportunities against Miller.
  • Recognize Buffalo's ability to engage the four-man attack. Try to prevent the fourth man from getting into the mix.
  • Team defense, sticking to the defensive system.
  • Play with an edge. The game could come down to who can handle physicality better.
  • Score more goals than Buffalo — it sounds obvious, but several players said this earnestly). Score more than two goals.
  • Discipline, special teams.
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