Posted on: March 10, 2011 4:00 pm
SEASON SERIES: Buffalo 3-1-1; Boston 2-2-1
IMPLICATIONS: The Sabres could move up a spot to seventh, displacing the idle New York Rangers. (Both would have 74 points, but Buffalo gets the edge with two games in hand after tonight.) The Bruins could advance to second place in the East with a victory. (Boston and idle Washington would each have 86 points, but the Bruins would have a game in hand.) Here's a look at our plaoff tracker.
BREAKDOWN: Despite all the outcry, Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara will indeed be in the lineup tonight. He told CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty that he was “relieved” that he would not sit for his check Tuesday night that seriously injured Montreal’s Max Pacioretty.
"I’m satisfied and happy about it. Relieved,” Chara said. “They looked at it and made a decision, and I respect that.”
While Pacioretty’s injury understandably took the spotlight off the scoreboard, the Bruins 4-1 loss was a rare hiccup of late. Still, the Bruins enter 7-1-1 in their last nine games.
Buffalo is 3-1-1 through the first six games of its seven-game, 12-day trip. The Sabres will get winger Thomas Vanek back in the lineup tonight after he missed Tuesday’s game with flu-like symptoms.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller vs. Boston goalie Tim Thomas. These two former teammates from the Team USA’s silver-medal run at last year’s Winter Olympics are both on their game. Thomas, who may have been injured in practice and sat out Tuesday’s game in Montreal, is 14-4-4 in his last 22 games and hasn’t been beaten in regulation over this last four starts. Miller made 28 saves in a 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, his first start since getting a rare night off last weekend.
KEY STAT: 6. Among the Sabres' final 16 games, that's how many teams are currenlty in the playoff picture.
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 8, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 1:49 pm
SEASON SERIES: Boston 1-2-1; Montreal 3-1-0
IMPLICATIONS: A Boston win and a Flyers loss Tuesday would pull the top two teams in East even in the points department. (Flyers would still technically be in first since they'd still have more wins.) Montreal could pull within three points of the Northeast lead with a regulation win.
BREAKDOWN: The Habs won the first three meetings, outscoring the Bruins 10-6 in those games. Then came their last meeting, a slugfest Boston won, 8-6, on Feb. 9. That contest included 45 penalties for a total of 182 minutes -- and two of the dozen fighting majors was the result of a goalie fight (above) between Montreal's Carey Price and Boston's Tim Thomas.
“It was pretty crazy,” Boston forward Milan Lucic told CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty. “Especially that second period with eight goals scored, and four for each side. I remember watching the highlights later and hearing (Bruins play-by-play announcer) Jack (Edwards), say ‘Mercy.’ It was fun to be in, and I know our fans talk about it and remember it.”
The same goalies in net for the last meeting are expected to get the call again tonight. Last game was long on penalties, but short on saves.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Boston LW Milan Lucic vs. Montreal LW Michael Cammalleri. Cammalleri took a “therapy day” on Monday, a day away from the rink that might have been needed since he has two points in the seven games since he returned from injury. The Bruins are nearly perfect, 21-1-0, when Lucic scores, something he did twice in the last meeting.
KEY STAT: 710. The total number of meetings between these two Orginal Six clubs, second only to Detroit vs. Chicago (712).
Photo: Getty Images