Yes, the Bruins won four meetings against the Sabres. However, two of those games went to overtime and another was started by Jhonas Enroth. All but two of the meetings this season were decided by one goal. The others were decided by just two goals, so all of the games have been close.
Ryan Miller and Tuukka Rask are an obvious key to success for both teams. While Rask led the league in goals against average and save percentage, he played about 20 games fewer than Miller. Also, Rask does not have any playoff experience and we don’t know how he will perform. Will he crack under pressure? Or will he continue to succeed?
While the Sabres posted an impressive 25-10-6 record on home ice this season, the Bruins excelled on the road. Boston went 21-13-7, 2nd in the Eastern Conference.
Tim Connolly is ready to play after missing nine games with a foot injury. He will play Thursday in game 1. Jochen Hecht and Drew Stafford are also close to returning, but both are questionable for Thursday’s game.
This will be Buffalo native Patrick Kaleta’s first playoff game of his career. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact he makes with the Sabres in the playoffs. Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe may see some playing time, but if the regulars return, they will miss out on some playoff experience.
Tyler Myers will also make his first playoff appearance in his career. We will get to see two of the NHL’s tallest players in Zdeno Chara and Tyler Myers. We will also see a few guys playing against their former teams. Steve Montador played for Boston, but was not resigned by the Bruins. Both Daniel Paille and Miroslav Satan played for Buffalo for a few years, and will now try to beat their former team.
Buffalo needs to take advantage of its home crowd in the first two games. HSBC Arena will be electric and the Sabres need to use that to win. A quick start is imperative against the Bruins.
Can Buffalo defeat the Bruins? Let us know what you think by commenting below.