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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 21st (All times Eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (9-23-3) at Boston Bruins (23-10-2), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Sabres will try to pull off an improbable home-and-home sweep when they visit the Boston Bruins for Saturday's Atlantic Division clash at TD Garden.
Buffalo claimed a 4-2 home win Thursday night against the Bruins, as the last- place team in the Atlantic beat the division leaders. Even after the win, the lowly Sabres are still 27 points behind Boston in the standings and Buffalo is 12 points in back of seventh-place Florida.
The Bruins held a 2-1 lead after scoring twice in the early stages of the second period on Thursday, but allowed Buffalo to score three unanswered goals to close the game. Drew Stafford scored the go-ahead goal for the Sabres on a wrap-around with 5:41 left in the third period and Tyler Myers extended the cushion just 80 seconds later.
Thursday's triumph marked the second straight win for the Sabres, giving Buffalo consecutive victories for the first time since Nov. 12-15. The Sabres, who had lost 10 of 13 heading into the home-and-home opener, haven't won three in a row since April 13-17 of last season.
Brian Flynn and Marcus Foligno also scored for Buffalo on Tuesday, while Ryan Miller stood tall with 34 saves for the win.
"This is a huge win for us and a step in the right direction," said Foligno.
Brad Marchand had both Boston goals and Chad Johnson allowed four goals on 23 shots. The Bruins have lost two of three since a four-game winning streak.
Marchand has struggled to produce this season, but three of his seven goals in 2013-14 have come over his last four games. The pesky winger led Boston with 18 goals in 45 games last season.
"I think he was close to his old self tonight and that was nice to see," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Marchand. "He competed hard in all areas and he skated better than I've seen him skate in a long time. He got rewarded with a couple goals and even could've had a few more with a little bit of luck. I liked his game tonight."
Tuukka Rask expects to get the start in net for the Bruins in tonight's rematch and he is 4-5-1 with a 2.71 goals against average in 12 career tilts against the Sabres.
Miller, meanwhile, is 26-9-7 with a 2.56 GAA in 42 lifetime starts versus Boston.
Although Buffalo is just 3-11-1 as the away team this season, the club has claimed the last two meetings in Boston. The Bruins, who are 14-3-2 as the host in 2013-14, have taken five of the last eight overall encounters in this series.
12/21 10:54:36 ET