NHL Hockey

5
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Boston 1 1 3 5
Buffalo 0 1 0 1
1
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT, April 22, 2021
KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York  Attendance: 0

Bruins look to extend win streak vs. Sabres

Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres

  1. Boston has won nine straight games against Buffalo dating back to December 2018. This season, Boston has gone 4-0-0 against Buffalo, allowing no more than two goals in any of those four games, and has 148 shots on goal (37.0 per game) compared to 106 for the Sabres in these four games (26.5 per game).
  2. Boston beat Buffalo on Tuesday, 2-0. This was the Bruins' second shutout of April, tying them with four other teams for most in the NHL this month. However, the Bruins have allowed 10 power-play goals in April after allowing 11 combined over January, February, and March.
  3. Buffalo's 33 goals in April are tied for the team's goal total in March -- however, the Sabres have allowed 32 goals in April, 33 fewer than the team allowed in March (65). The team's five wins in April are just two fewer than in January, February, and March combined (seven wins).
  4. The Bruins have won each of their last four games by multiple goals -- only four teams (Colorado, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh) have longer streaks of multi-goal wins this season -- the Avalanche have the longest streak of multi-goal wins (six straight in March).
  5. Brad Marchand leads the NHL with 11 goals in April after his 13 goals prior to April were tied for 33rd in the NHL. His 19 points in April trail only Artemi Panarin (20) for most in the NHL, and his +14 rating this month is tied with teammate Patrice Bergeron and Dallas' Jason Robertson for best in the NHL.
  6. Dylan Cozens led the Sabres with a career-high seven shots on goal when these teams met on Tuesday, but his current 10-game goalless streak is the longest of his rookie season. Still, he has five points in April after having six points combined in the first three months of the season.

The Buffalo Sabres seem like the ideal opponent for the Boston Bruins to face while trying to continue their late-season surge.

Coming off their ninth consecutive victory over the Sabres, the visiting Bruins aim for a season-high sixth straight win overall when these teams meet again on Thursday night.

With Tuesday's 2-0 victory at Buffalo, Boston (26-12-6, 58 points) has outscored the Sabres 12-5 in four meetings this season. And, the Bruins still get two more cracks at Buffalo (12-27-7, 31 points), which is already eliminated from playoff contention, this week on Thursday and Friday.

More importantly for the Bruins, these contests offer a good chance for them to perhaps move up in the East Division. Boston, which had three winning streaks of at least six games in 2019-20, owns the fourth and final playoff spot in the East, but is four points off the division lead.

However, coach Bruce Cassidy hopes to see a better overall collective effort from his team in Thursday's rematch. On Tuesday, the Bruins allowed 17 third-period shots on goal after giving up just 15 over the first 40 minutes.

"I didn't like our third period at all. I thought we lost our discipline," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We gave up a lot of chances, relied on our goaltender.

"We've got to raise our standard internally and get back to work (in practice) so we're better prepared for Thursday."

Tuuka Rask stopped 32 shots for his first shutout of the season Tuesday and has a 1.33 goals-against average during a three-game winning streak. However, rookie Jeremy Swayman (4-1-0, 1.78 GAA) or even Jaroslav Halak, recently out of COVID-19 protocol, could start in Boston's net in the first of this back-to-back scenario.

Buffalo's Dustin Tokarski, who has a 2.29 goals-against average in last four games, made 39 saves on Tuesday, but didn't get any support as the Sabres were shut out for an eighth time this season.

"I'm glad we play them again because we get a chance to look in the mirror, look at the video, speak of the game, and measure ourselves against a great hockey team, and a team that is fighting for every point," interim Sabres coach Don Granato said.

"We're trying to advance and improve our team individually, our players individually, our team collectively. You want opposition like this. You learn a lot about yourself."

Buffalo is 6-4-2 since its franchise-record 18-game winless rut (0-15-3), but has dropped two of the last three. Tuesday also marked the third time over the last 12 games that promising Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt failed to record a point. He has seven goals with three assists during that stretch.

With a goal Tuesday, Boston star Brad Marchand has scored five of his team-leading 24 over the last four games. Entering play Wednesday, Marchand's 11 goals in April are the most in the NHL. Teammate David Pastrnak has six assists over the last four contests.

Buffalo's Sam Reinhart has a team-leading 17 goals in 2020-21, but just one in the four games versus Boston.

--Field Level Media

Updated April 21, 2021

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