NHL on NBCSN: Bruins aim to complete sweep of Sabres

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Boston Bruins host the Buffalo Sabres at the TD Garden at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The Bruins missed a key opportunity to gain an edge in the battle for the top Wild Card spot when they suffered a 2-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but even with that setback factored in, Boston has been one of the league’s best teams lately.

The problem is the Bruins haven’t been the best squad in recent weeks. Led by rookie goaltender Andrew Hammond, the Ottawa Senators have posted an incredible 11-1-1 record starting with their victory against Montreal on Feb. 18. The Bruins are the only thing standing between Ottawa and a playoff spot and while Boston still has a five-point edge, the Senators are a constant remainder that the Bruins can’t afford to slow down now.

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Tonight’s game against the lowly Buffalo Sabres provides Boston with a great opportunity to pick up two points, but given that it comes just before the Bruins embark on a key road trip to Ottawa, Florida, and Tampa Bay, it’s also is a critical game for them.

Buffalo has lost seven straight, but it might be due for a win after going all the way to the shootout in two of its last three contests, including Monday’s game against Washington.

“It was a really good effort. Skills competition at the end. I’m very pleased with the way we played,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said, per the team’s Twitter feed, after the 4-3 shootout loss. He added, “These guys gave us what they have to give, and that’s all you can ask for.”

His players seemed similarly upbeat following Monday’s contest.

Buffalo will be going for its first win against Boston since Feb. 26, 2014. The silver lining for the Sabres is that they have taken the Bruins to overtime in their last two meetings.

They have the potential to be a thorn in Boston’s sides tonight and make the Bruins’ final weeks of the regular season a little more stressful in the process.