In their last game, the Buffalo Sabres failed to set a new NHL record. On Thursday night, they’ll get a chance to set a new team record instead.
Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo looks for its 11th straight road win as it plays the Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden.
The Sabres (10-0-1) have won six in a row on the road this season and a club record-tying 10 in a row since a 7-0 loss April 1 at Toronto. Buffalo also won 10 straight road games from Dec. 10, 1983-Jan. 23, 1984.
“It’s great getting on a run, and we’re still on a run,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “We still don’t have a number in the loss column. So let’s stay on the run.”
The Sabres have won eight of their last nine regular-season matchups with the Bruins, including a 6-2 victory Oct. 21 in Boston, where Chris Drury scored two power-play goals for Buffalo.
Ruff’s team will try to bounce back from a 5-4 shooutout loss Saturday to the Atlanta Thrashers, ending its bid to become the first team in NHL history to open the season with 11 straight wins. Buffalo, however, goes into the record books tied with the 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs with 10 wins to start a season.
“It’s disappointing to end the streak, but at the same time it was a lot of fun,” co-captain Daniel Briere said. “Hopefully, we can start another one right away.”
The loss also was Buffalo’s first in the regular season since a 4-2 defeat April 7 to Philadelphia. The Sabres had won 15 in a row, two short of the NHL record set by Pittsburgh from March 9-April 10, 1993.
Buffalo has rallied to win five times this season, including coming back from three two-goal deficits, and has three shootout victories. The Sabres lead the NHL with 53 goals scored, and rallied from four one-goal deficits Saturday before losing in the shootout.
“It made us believe that we would pull it off,” said Briere, who has three goals and 12 assists during a career-high 10-game points streak. “Maybe we relaxed a little. It seems like we took it for granted that it was going to happen again.”
Briere also said he hopes the winning streak hasn’t made his team overconfident.
“The one thing we have to be careful of is that winning hides bad habits,” he said. “Hopefully we didn’t pick up too many bad habits, and we realize that speed and hard work will carry us through the rest of the season.”
The Bruins (3-5-1) will try to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. Defenseman Zdeno Chara’s power-play goal with 4:25 to play lifted Boston to a 2-1 win over Ottawa on Saturday.
Chara spent four seasons with the Senators before signing a four-year, $37.5 million contract with the Bruins during the offseason.
“Yes, I was playing my former team but my main focus was on those two points,” he said. “It did not matter who we played. We really needed this win and we got it and it’s a nice feeling.”
Goaltender Tim Thomas had has best game of the season Saturday, finishing with 35 saves en route to his first win. He had been 0-2-1 with a 4.00 goals-against average.
“I’m thinking it was a nice win for everyone,” Bruins coach Dave Lewis said. “Timmy made some big saves when we needed them. I don’t know if you could’ve scripted it any better.”