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Sabres eye home-and-home sweep in Boston

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Sabres will try to pull off an improbable home-and-home sweep when they visit the Boston Bruins for Saturday's Atlantic Division clash at TD Garden.

Buffalo claimed a 4-2 home win Thursday night against the Bruins, as the last- place team in the Atlantic beat the division leaders. Even after the win, the lowly Sabres are still 27 points behind Boston in the standings and Buffalo is 12 points in back of seventh-place Florida.

The Bruins held a 2-1 lead after scoring twice in the early stages of the second period on Thursday, but allowed Buffalo to score three unanswered goals to close the game. Drew Stafford scored the go-ahead goal for the Sabres on a wrap-around with 5:41 left in the third period and Tyler Myers extended the cushion just 80 seconds later.

Thursday's triumph marked the second straight win for the Sabres, giving Buffalo consecutive victories for the first time since Nov. 12-15. The Sabres, who had lost 10 of 13 heading into the home-and-home opener, haven't won three in a row since April 13-17 of last season.

Brian Flynn and Marcus Foligno also scored for Buffalo on Tuesday, while Ryan Miller stood tall with 34 saves for the win.

"This is a huge win for us and a step in the right direction," said Foligno.

Brad Marchand had both Boston goals and Chad Johnson allowed four goals on 23 shots. The Bruins have lost two of three since a four-game winning streak.

Marchand has struggled to produce this season, but three of his seven goals in 2013-14 have come over his last four games. The pesky winger led Boston with 18 goals in 45 games last season.

"I think he was close to his old self tonight and that was nice to see," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Marchand. "He competed hard in all areas and he skated better than I've seen him skate in a long time. He got rewarded with a couple goals and even could've had a few more with a little bit of luck. I liked his game tonight."

Tuukka Rask expects to get the start in net for the Bruins in tonight's rematch and he is 4-5-1 with a 2.71 goals against average in 12 career tilts against the Sabres.

Miller, meanwhile, is 26-9-7 with a 2.56 GAA in 42 lifetime starts versus Boston.

Although Buffalo is just 3-11-1 as the away team this season, the club has claimed the last two meetings in Boston. The Bruins, who are 14-3-2 as the host in 2013-14, have taken five of the last eight overall encounters in this series.

12/21 11:18:13 ET

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Schedule

Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
Montreal 4/18 7:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay CNBC, CBC, RDS, FSN-FL
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Montreal leads series, 1-0.
Detroit 4/18 7:30 PM ET
Boston NBCSN, TSN, FSN-DET, NESN
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/18 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim NBCSN, TSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Anaheim leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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