Milan Lucic expects Sabres to come after him

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Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe spoke with Bruins winger Milan Lucic today in advance of Wednesday’s highly-anticipated Bruins-Sabres tilt.

Not beating around the bush, Dupont asked Lucic if he expected one of the Buffalo players to drop the mitts.

His response?

“Yes. I’m not going to lie…yes.”

Not a surprise, but definitely interesting given Brendan Shanahan has spoken with both GMs — Buffalo’s Darcy Regier and Boston’s Peter Chiarelli — informing them that “awareness will be heightened” for the game. Lucic’s honesty is admirable, even though a “no comment” might’ve been the smarter play.

That said, we’re now left with the following questions for tomorrow night:

— Who takes on Lucic? Buffalo’s most active pugilist this year is Cody McCormick, but he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury and hasn’t played since Nov. 14. Paul Gaustad, one of the most outspoken Sabres following the Lucic-Miller collision (and one of Miller’s best friends), has fought twice already this year and certainly has the size at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds.

— What will Patrick Kaleta do? If there’s one wildcard in the Buffalo lineup, it’s Kaleta — he’s already been suspended for headbutting and fined $2,500 for a hatchet job on Phoenix’s Derek Morris.

— Will Boston start Tim Thomas in goal? It might not be the worst idea ever to rest your franchise goalie (you know, the guy with a penchant for playing outside the blue ice.) Tuukka Rask only has one start in Boston’s last five games, but Thomas does have a two-game shutout streak going.

— Who will work the game? The officiating crew of referees Ghislain Hebert/Marc Joannette and linesmen Derek Nansen/Mark Shewchyk called the last Bruins-Sabres affair. Hebert was fairly inexperienced as far as referees went (he called his first regular-season game in 2009) and it’s likely a more veteran crew will be assigned to this potentially explosive affair.

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