NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 31st (All times Eastern)
Boston Bruins (21-8-4) at Buffalo Sabres (13-16-6), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - On Saturday, the Buffalo Sabres made the first of what could be a few trades over the next couple of days.
With the club expected to be sellers ahead of Wednesday's deadline, the Sabres will try to battle through distraction on Sunday evening in a meeting with the struggling Boston Bruins.
The Sabres sit 12th in the Eastern Conference with 32 points, though that is just three back of the eighth spot. Buffalo, though, has already made a coaching change this season and on Saturday dealt defenseman Jordan Leopold to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for conditional second-round and fifth-round selections in the upcoming draft.
With the uncertainty looming, the Sabres failed to hold a two-goal lead on Saturday against the Washington Capitals and lost a 4-3 shootout decision.
It was a tough ending for backup netminder Jhonas Enroth, who made 35 saves but yielded the game-tying goal with 39.2 seconds left in regulation after a Mike Green shot hit off the post and the goaltender's back before going in.
Enroth was beaten twice in the shootout.
Ville Leino recorded his first two goals of the season and his first tallies since April 5 of last year. He missed the first 27 games of the season with a lower body injury and has six points in eight games.
Playing in his 600th career game, Christian Ehrhoff also scored in Buffalo's third straight loss, the past two coming in a shootout. The Sabres were without leading scorer Thomas Vanek for both games due to an upper body injury.
"They're pros and they understand the time of the year that is and Wednesday is the deadline and what'll happen will happen," said Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston, who replaced a fired Lindy Ruff on Feb. 20. "They don't have control over that, so they've been pretty focused."
Boston will try to regain its focus as it has lost five of its past seven, including two straight. The Bruins were dealt a 3-1 setback by the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday and dropped three points behind the Montreal Canadiens for first place in the Northeast Division.
Nathan Horton scored the lone Boston goal early in the third period, while Tuukka Rask allowed two goals on 21 shots.
"I think we were working hard but just couldn't buy a goal and maybe gripping our sticks a little too much," Horton admitted. "Once they got the lead they were playing back. Like I said, we had our chances though."
Boston has lost five of its past six on the road and sits just two points ahead of the fifth-place Ottawa Senators in the East.
The Sabres have won two of three versus the Bruins this season, splitting two encounters in Buffalo. Boston has lost five of its last seven as the guest in this series.
The Bruins will hope that Vanek misses a third straight game as he has three goals and five points in the three meetings this season. Tyler Ennis (2 goals, 3 assists) and Cody Hodgson (2g, 2a) have also done well versus the Bruins.
Brad Marchand has three goals in three games versus the Sabres this season.
03/31 10:36:33 ET