Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Boston Bruins hosting the Buffalo Sabres at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:
• Last game (Sunday): WSH def. BOS 2-0 – BOS shut out for just the 4th time this season, second time vs. WSH.
• Both season-high 5-game winning streak and 11 straight games scoring first streak snapped.
• Despite the loss, the Bruins have been playing better hockey since Feb. 22. They are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games, and have closed the gap between themselves and teams just ahead.
• Bruins need this game: Of the Bruins 13 remaining games, 6 are against teams currently in playoff position. Another 4 are against teams in the playoff hunt, including Thursday’s matchup at OTT.
• Sabres slumping continues: Last game (Monday): WSH def. BUF 4-3 SO.
• Surrendered two 1-goal leads; allowed 2 PP goals.
• BUF has lost 7 straight games (0-5-2 record), while scoring 9 goals in their 6 games this month.
• If BUF finishes last overall, they will have a 20.0% chance of landing the first pick in the NHL draft.
• Scoring woes continue: Last season, BUF set an NHL record for the fewest goals in the expansion era of hockey dating to back to 1967 (150 goals; 1.83 g/gm). This season, Buffalo’s scoring is occurring at an even worse rate: 1.81 goals/gm (last in NHL).
SABRES TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
• Lone All-Star and number-one center Zemgus Girgensons was placed on IR on February 26 after blocking a shot by CBJ defenseman James Wisniewski (since traded to ANA) off his right foot two days prior. Whether or not he will return this season is still to be determined.
• Girgensons’ injury, combined with the trade of veteran center Torrey Mitchell (to MTL), have left Buffalo without much depth (or production) amongst its 4 centers, though both Larsson (5 points in last 4 games) and Hodgson scored last night. With a PP goal Monday vs. WSH, Tyler Ennis now has 5 points (3G-2A) in his last 6 games since returning from a groin injury. He leads the team in goals (18), power-play goals (6), and points (38).
• Since Feb. 19, Matt Moulson has been the team’s most consistent scorer. He logged an assist vs. WSH, giving him 11 points (2G-9A) in the last 12 games.
• Chad Johnson (lower-body) was injured before he could make an appearance with the Sabres after being acquired at the trade deadline from NYI.
• This has made Anders Lindback the everyday goalie – he has started 5 of the 6 games in March, posting an 0-3-2 record, 2.70 GAA, and a .924 SV% in the month.
• Lindback has not won a game in which he has started this season (b/w DAL and BUF). In those 12 starts, he has a record of 0-10-2.
• His two wins this season both came in relief appearances with the Stars.
• In his last 2 starts combined, Lindback has stopped 66 of 70 shots faced (vs. NYR & vs. WSH).
• Should Matt Hackett be named the starter of this 2nd game of a back-to-back, he would be making just his 3rd start of the season.
• He was pulled after allowing 4 goals on 23 shots at WSH on March 7.
• This season: 0-2-0 record, 5.19 GAA, and a .867 SV%.
• In his only career start vs. BOS last season, he allowed 3 goals on 23 shots in the 4-1 loss.
BRUINS TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
• David Krejci took part in the team’s morning skate today. This is the first time he has skated with the team since suffering a partially torn MCL at STL on Feb. 20. Krejci is in the 4th week of a 4-6 week timetable that was originally given.
• Boston’s recent winning ways can be attributed to the team’s newfound production out of young forwards Ryan Spooner (3rd-year) and David Pastrnak (rookie).
• After being recalled on Feb. 21, Spooner has 9 points (3G-6A) in the last 11 games.
• Pastrnak now has 8 points (3G-5A) in the last 9 games. See chart below that shows his scoring outburst.
• 2014 1st-round pick (25th overall) and the youngest player in the NHL (May, 25, 1996 – 18 years old).
• Team-leading scorer Patrice Bergeron has also picked up the scoring load for BOS during this surge, logging 9 points (3G-6A), +4 rating in the last 11 games.
• Career vs. BUF: 32 points (9G, 23A) in 54 games.
• 3rd- year defenseman Dougie Hamilton is enjoying a career-year for BOS. For the second consecutive season, he has topped his previous amount of goals, assists, and points.
• Leads all BOS defensemen in points this season (40).
• Career vs. BUF: 9 points (5G-4A) in 11 games.
• Tuukka Rask’s strong goaltending of late has helped the Bruins stay in playoff position. In his last 9 starts, he has gone 6-2-1, with a 1.64 GAA, and a .949 SV%.
• Niklas Svedberg is expected to get the start in net vs. BUF.
• This season: 7-5-0 record, 2.43 GAA, and a .918 SV%.
• He’s won his last 2 starts (2.44 GAA, .929 SV%) at NJ (Feb. 27) and vs. DET (March 8).