BOSTON – Aside from being division rivals, the Sabres and Bruins have something else in common. Here are five things to know as Buffalo visits Boston on Monday night.
1. Home is where the losses are as teams get comfortable on the road.
The Sabres and Bruins are two of the worst teams in the NHL at home. They’re both 1-3, which figures to benefit Buffalo as it visits TD Garden.
Despite their home troubles, the rivals have winning records and 12 points each. Boston is 6-5, including 5-2 on the road. The Sabres are 5-4-2, including 4-1-2 away from Buffalo.
Overall, the Sabres are on a 4-1 run. Boston lost, 5-2, to the New York Rangers on Saturday as its three-game winning streak ended.
2. Tyler Ennis and Dmitry Kulikov are back.
Ennis and Kulikov missed practice Sunday for maintenance days, but both returned for an optional morning skate. The Sabres had just seven skaters take the ice – Matt Moulson, Rasmus Ristolainen, Nick Baptiste, William Carrier, Zemgus Girgensons, Ennis and Kulikov – and they took turns shooting on backup goaltender Anders Nilsson.
“We’re actually quite banged up,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. “The guys that are playing are dealing with some bumps and bruises. … This team has done well taking the morning skate as a time to stay off the ice and get ready to play the match.”
3. Sam Reinhart gets to 100.
Reinhart, who scored the winning goal in the Sabres’ 2-1 victory in Ottawa on Saturday, will play the 100th game of his career. He has 25 goals, 24 assists and 49 points in his 99 games.
He’s looking to use his game-winning goal Saturday as a springboard for more.
Sam Reinhart's birthday featured fun with shaving cream, but Sabres forward is ready to get serious in goal column. https://t.co/uiuRi2dZIv
— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) November 7, 2016
4. It’s Sweden against Finland in net.
The Sabres will start goaltender Robin Lehner for the fifth straight game. He is 4-3-2 with a .929 save percentage and 2.14 goals-against average. Boston will go with Finland native Tuukka Rask. He is 6-1 with a .932 and 1.98.
The Sabres are Bruins are tied for 26th in the league at just 2.33 goals per game, but Brad Marchand (four goals, 13 points) and David Pastrnak (seven goals, 11 points) are a formidable duo. Bylsma has his eye on a Bruins power play that ranks 29th at 7.9 percent
“You see the top line with Marchand and Pastrnak carrying the bulk of the load with getting the points,” Bylsma said, “but I see a power-play unit that is very dangerous but isn’t showing it, at least numbers-wise so far.”
5. Bills alter the radio dial.
The Buffalo Bills visit Seattle at 8:30 p.m., bumping the Sabres from WGR-AM 550. The hockey game will be broadcast on ESPN-AM 1520 and televised by MSG. Dan Dunleavy will do the play-by-play, while Rob Ray returns as the analyst after a one-game absence.