The Boston Bruins have been the victims of horrid scheduling, but things will get back on track this week.
Boston had a five-day layoff before laying an egg against the Calgary Flames on Sunday night at TD Garden. The Bruins now will play three games this week as they look to return to the win column, and are one step closer to getting Trent Frederic back, though head coach Bruce Cassidy will have some lineup decisions to make when the forward returns to game action.
Here’s a look at this week’s schedule:
Wednesday, Nov. 24 at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m. ET
Friday, Nov. 26. vs. New York Rangers, 1 p.m. ET
Sunday, Nov. 28 vs. Vancouver Canucks, 7 p.m. ET
What Bruins fans need to know
The Sabres, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, are 7-9-2 on the season. They have lost their last three games, though and four of their last five. Buffalo’s latest loss came by way of a 7-4 defeat at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Goaltending still is a glaring issue for the Sabres, who have used (20!) different goalies since trading Ryan Miller in 2014.
As for the Rangers, they’re 6-2-2 in their last 10 games ahead of their game against the New York Islanders on Wednesday. Head coach Gerard Gallant, much like B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy, isn’t afraid to switch up his lines and did just that to spark some offense when he bumped fourth liner Dryden Hunt up to play alongside Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad on the top unit. New York ended up defeating Buffalo, 5-4.
The Canucks have lost six of their last seven heading into their Wednesday matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Vancouver also faces the Columbus Blue Jackets before traveling to Boston to take on the Bruins at TD Garden, so its schedule certainly does not favor the Canucks at a time they probably would like to see some wins come their way.
Who Bruins need to look out for
Tage Thompson (Sabres) — Thompson has three goals in Buffalo’s last two games and leads the team with eight. His 13 points also are a team-high, and DraftKings has him at +275 to score against the Bruins on Wednesday night.
Chris Kreider (Rangers) — His 13 goals are far and away the most for the Rangers, in front of four other players who are tied for second-most with four.
J.T. Miller (Canucks) — Miller has been one of — if not the most — productive player for Vancouver since being traded by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He leads the team in points and opponents always know when he’s on the ice.
DraftKings has the Bruins as the 1.5-goal favorite over the Sabres with the over-under set at 5.5 goals. Boston easily has hit that mark in four of its last five games. Craig Smith, who scored a sick goal in Boston’s 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers and has been playing well since his return from injury, is +275 to score at any point against Buffalo.