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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, December 19th (All times Eastern)

Boston Bruins (23-9-2) at Buffalo Sabres (8-23-3), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Sabres will try to win consecutive games for the first time in over a month when they host the first-place Boston Bruins in the opener of a home-and-home series at First Niagara Center.

The Sabres last won back-to-back outings on Nov. 12 and 15, but a victory tonight would give Buffalo its first two-game winning streak since Ted Nolan took over head coaching duties from the fired Ron Rolston.

Nolan, who is in his second stint behind the Buffalo bench, won his first game of 2013-14 on Nov. 15, three days after Rolston coached his last contest with the Sabres in a shootout victory over Los Angeles. Overall, things have only improved slightly for the Sabres since the coaching switch, with Buffalo going 4-8-2 under Nolan after starting the year 4-15-1.

The Sabres are 2-1-1 over their last four games, however, and are coming off Tuesday's home win against Winnipeg. Matt Moulson notched a third-period goal to give Buffalo the lead en route to a 4-2 win over the visiting Jets.

Marcus Foligno and Matt Ellis also scored in the third to complete the comeback. Steve Ott lit the lamp in the second to help the Sabres snap a two- game skid, while Ryan Miller turned aside 25 shots in the victory.

The Jets grabbed a 2-0 lead on a pair of quick goals from Mark Scheifele early in the second period, but Buffalo was able to keep Winnipeg from scoring the rest of the way.

"It's a real big step for this hockey club," Ellis said of the win.

Buffalo, which will visit the Bruins on Saturday, improved to 5-12-2 as the host after Tuesday's victory.

The Bruins lead the Atlantic Division with 48 points -- 29 more than last- place Buffalo -- and enter this evening's clash having won five of their last six games, including Tuesday's shutout victory over visiting Calgary.

Boston beat the Flames 2-0 as Tuukka Rask posted 21 saves for his third shutout of the season. Zdeno Chara scored both goals with Jarome Iginla and David Krejci each posting two assists for the Bruins, who were coming off a 3-1-0 road trip when they notched a sixth straight home victory.

"I'm just trying to work hard and be there for loose pucks and create traffic and finding some openings. So really the main thing is to just work extremely hard," said Chara after his two-goal night.

The Bruins are just 9-6-0 on the road this season compared to a stellar 14-3-2 mark at TD Garden. However, Boston did win in Buffalo earlier this season, recording a 5-2 triumph on Oct. 23, as Milan Lucic and Torey Krug each scored twice. Chad Johnson needed to make only 14 saves in the win for Boston, while Miller stopped 29 shots in a losing effort.

Boston has won five of the last eight meetings against the Sabres overall, and the Bruins have taken two straight and three of the past four encounters at First Niagara Center.

12/19 11:15:44 ET

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Schedule

Thursday, April 17Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia1Final | Box
NY Rangers «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. New York leads series, 1-0.
Chicago3OT 6:16 | Box
St. Louis3@theRink | TV: NBCSN, CSN-CHI, FSN-MW
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Minnesota42nd Prd :05 | Box
Colorado2@theRink | TV: CNBC, TSN, Altitude
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Los Angeles01st Prd 1:05 | Box
San Jose1@theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, FSN-W
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
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
  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Saturday at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Saturday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Sunday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 3
NOR 2
 
Final
PHI 1
ATL 0
Final
DET 7
CLE 5
Final
MIN 7
TOR 0
Final
TEX 8
SEA 6
Final
SFG 1
LOS 2
Final
SDP 1
COL 3
Final
PIT 11
MIL 2
Final
WAS 0
STL 8
Final
TAM 2
NYY 10
Final
MIN 9
TOR 5
Final
CWS 1
BOS 3
 
Final
HOU 1
KAN 5
Final
NYR 4
PHI 1
1st OT
STL 3
CHI 3
 
2nd
COL 2
MIN 4
 
1st
SJS 1
LOS 0
 
Final
DUR 3
NOR 2