Boston (9-8-4) at Buffalo (12-5-1)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Buffalo, NY
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Fri Nov 20, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Buffalo Sabres are trying to get back on track following one of their worst defensive efforts of the season.

Facing the Boston Bruins at HSBC Arena on Friday night could be exactly what the Sabres need.

Buffalo looks for its fifth straight win at home against the Bruins, who are coming off their first shootout victory in nearly a month.

In search of their third four-game winning streak of the season, the Northeast Division-leading Sabres (12-5-1) fell to visiting Florida 6-2 on Wednesday.

It was the most goals allowed by Buffalo this season.

“They just played boring until they got a lead and then they played more boring,” Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller(notes) said after yielding a season-high five scores. “You have to be willing to get it deep and just be boring yourself. It was one of those nights where everything we seem to do kind of went against us.”

Buffalo, though, is 12-1-2 at home against Boston since the beginning of the 2005-06 season.

Miller, among the league leaders with a 1.97 goals-against average, is 10-1-2 with a 2.11 GAA in 13 career home starts versus the Bruins.

Miller did not play in the 4-2 loss in Boston on Nov. 7. Rookie Jhonas Enroth(notes) stopped 33 shots in his NHL debut.

Backup Tuukka Rask(notes) made 28 saves for the Bruins, who snapped a three-game slide with that victory.

Starting for reigning Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas(notes), who was sidelined with an undisclosed injury, Rask stopped 32 shots through overtime and all three in the shootout in Thursday’s 4-3 victory over Atlanta.

Since Patrice Bergeron(notes) scored the only shootout goal in a 4-3 victory at Ottawa on Oct. 24, Boston (9-8-4) had lost its previous three games that went past regulation.

“We have lost several games in shootouts,” Rask said. “We wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again.”

Bergeron scored the only shootout goal against the Thrashers after the Bruins lost a 3-2 lead in the final minute of regulation. With Atlanta using an extra skater, Maxim Afinogenov(notes) tallied the game-tying goal with 41.4 seconds left.

“That goal at the end could have been a killer,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “But our guys decided that we weren’t going to allow that to be the winner.”

While Boston continues its four-game trip with Milan Lucic(notes) back in the lineup after being out 14 games with a broken finger and center Marc Savard(notes) possibly getting close to returning after missing the past 13 games with a broken left foot, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff is expecting his top two scorers to be on the ice Friday.

Centers Tim Connolly(notes), who leads Buffalo with 12 assists and 16 points, and Derek Roy(notes), who scored in Boston earlier this month, did not practice Thursday.

“The indications are that they should be ready to play,” Ruff said. “It’s just more of giving them an extra day.”

Sabres forward Thomas Vanek(notes) looks to extend his point streak to five after recording a season-high two assists Wednesday.

Boston’s Michael Ryder(notes) had his first multigoal game of the season Thursday. He has found the back of the net three times in the last three games after scoring three goals in his first 18 games this season.

Boston’s last win in Buffalo was 3-2 in a shootout on Feb. 8, 2008.

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Friday, Nov 20