Buffalo has struggled recently, losing four straight following a season-high eight-game winning streak, including a 3-1 defeat Friday to the Ottawa Senators. The Sabres’ losing streak likely has cost them a chance at the Northeast Division title since they now trail the Senators by nine points with 13 games left.
Daniel Briere scored the lone goal for the Sabres, who are 0-for-15 on the power play over the last three games and have been outscored 16-6 in the last four.
“We have to continue to grind away,” said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, whose team is in fourth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race. “The energy level of our team isn’t great. We’re mucking through it.”
Buffalo has not lost five in a row since a seven-game skid from Dec. 4-19, 2003.
The Sabres have won six straight against the Bruins, their Northeast Division rival, outscoring them 23-12. Buffalo also has a five-game point streak at Boston, recording four wins and an overtime loss in its last five trips.
While the Sabres hope a win over the Bruins will end their latest skid, Boston can do little to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since 2000-01.
The Bruins lost 4-2 to the New Jersey Devils on Friday and are in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, 10 points behind eighth-place Atlanta with 11 games to go. Boston has lost three straight games and 14 of its last 18.
“We can feel bad for ourselves, but no one else is going to,” said Bruins goaltender Andrew Raycroft, who allowed three goals on 15 shots before being pulled in the second period. “We’ve just got to go out and battle for each other. We have no choice.”