By: David Kolb
BOSTON BRUINS (13-10-1) @ BUFFALO SABRES (9-9-5)
Tonight the Buffalo Sabres will face off against the Boston Bruins in the second of four tilts between the clubs this season, with the Bruins taking the first contest winning 4-0 in Boston. Tonight the Atlantic Division rivals will faceoff in Buffalo, but this time the Bruins will face a much different team. The Sabres will take the ice with a much healthier roster, as forwards Jack Eichel, Evander Kane and Ryan O’Reilly have all missed significant time in the first quarter of the season.
EICHEL’S START MAGICAL
Jack Eichel was sidelined for the first 21 games this season due to a high ankle sprain but has been sensational through his first two tilts, scoring three goals with an assist for four points in two games. Eichel’s return may very well serve as the turning point in the Sabres’ season.
Goalie Robin Lehner, who was injured versus Ottawa on Tuesday, will be back in net despite being 3-7-3 lifetime against the Bruins. Lehner held the Sabres in games early on this season but now plans to build a solid win/loss record being that the injuries have subsided. The Sabres finally have the offensive skills to provide more goal support.
KRUG ON FIRE
With injuries on the Boston blueline, defenseman Torey Krug has stepped up and has been sensational over the past three games, picking up a goal and four assists. Krug has been quarterbacking the Bruins power play with captain Zdeno Chara out of the lineup since Nov. 22 with a lower-body injury.
22-year-old defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen picked up an assist Thursday against the Rangers, giving him three points in his past two games. The budding superstar is still looking for his first goal of the season, however, he has recorded twelve assists and is averaging an impressive 26:19 time on ice.