NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017-18 NHL season continues on Tuesday, as the Buffalo Sabres host the Boston Bruins at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can watch the game online by clicking here.
After lighting up the Blue Jackets by a score of 7-2 last night, will the Bruins have any goals left in them tonight? The answer is probably “yes” for two reasons. First, despite being hit by injuries at various times this season, they’ve been pretty good. Second, they’re playing the Sabres, so…yeah!
Boston comes into tonight’s game sitting in third place in the Atlantic Division, but they’ve been able to make up a lot of ground on the struggling Maple Leafs. Toronto is still four points ahead, but the Bruins still have three games in hand.
The Bruins, who are 4-1-1 in their last six contests, will play on the road tonight before going back home for three straight against Winnipeg, Detroit and Ottawa. They’re recent surge has also allowed them to put a bit of distance between themselves and the other teams in their division (Montreal is five points back, but they’ve played two games more than Boston).
One of the biggest reasons for their recent success is the play of Brad Marchand, who has been terrific since returning from injury. The 29-year-old is currently riding a nine-game point streak. He has five multi-point efforts during his run.
The Sabres will come into this one having dropped four of their last five games. On top of being at the bottom of the Eastern Conference Standings, they also have the second fewest amount of wins on home ice in the league with 4.
Despite their difficult season, defenseman Marco Scandella has kept a pretty positive attitude of late.
“I think we have a really good, cohesive group with the coaches and everybody,” Scandella said, per the Buffalo News. “I just feel like we’re building something here. Statistically it shows in the last seven, eight games that we’ve been playing a lot better.
“Everything is up. Everyone is just having more success. Everyone gets more individual success when the team plays better and the team has success. I think we’re starting to understand that as a group, and it’s huge.”
It looks like the Sabres will have one of those years where they’ll have to take small positives from every game instead of piling up wins. In the end, maybe that will benefit them in the future. But tonight, all they have to focus on is beating a Bruins time that will be playing a second game in as many nights.
Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.