The short-handed Boston Bruins bounced back quickly after their season high-tying win streak came to an end. They'll try to keep heading in the right direction during a home-and-home series against the last-place Buffalo Sabres.
The Bruins will seek their sixth victory in seven games Thursday night while trying to deny the Sabres a rare win streak.
Boston (23-9-2) is missing six players, most notably forward Loui Eriksson (concussion). Shawn Thornton is appealing his 15-game suspension, and Chris Kelly (leg), Dougie Hamilton (lower body), Daniel Paille (concussion) and Adam McQuaid (lower body) are also out.
"With the injuries we have, we're really relying on everybody right now," center Gregory Campbell said. "It's not about coming in and just playing. It's about actually trying to contribute. We need help from (the minor league call-ups) and from veterans. Everybody has to be at the top of their games in the situation we're in."
Milan Lucic played in a 2-0 victory over visiting Calgary on Tuesday after reportedly being involved in an altercation in his native Vancouver following a 6-2 loss Saturday that snapped Boston's four-game win streak. Lucic had two goals and an assist in the Bruins' only meeting with Buffalo this season, a 5-2 victory Oct. 23.
Torey Krug scored a pair of third-period goals as Boston improved to 2-0-1 in its last three games against the Sabres (8-23-3) and earned its second straight win in Buffalo.
The Sabres enter this matchup having earned at least one point in a season-high three consecutive home games, going 2-0-1, and in four of their last five (3-1-1). They had their highest scoring output of the season at the First Niagara Center in a 4-2 comeback win over Winnipeg on Tuesday.
Buffalo scored three goals in the third period with Matt Moulson putting his team ahead for good with a power-play score at the 2:31 mark. The Sabres were 0 for 21 when trailing after two periods.
"The one thing we've tried to work on is our consistency," coach Ted Nolan said. "If you keep going, usually good things happen. It was nice to see the team rewarded for never giving up and continuing to work. We got the breaks when we needed them."
Buffalo recorded its only back-to-back wins Nov. 12-15, and Cody Hodgson will try to help the team do it again by adding to his four goals and two assists in his past six matchups with Boston. Hodgson had an assist Tuesday after missing two games with a lower-body injury.
The Sabres also got defenseman Alexander Sulzer back after a five-game absence due to an upper-body injury, leaving Cody McCormick as the team's only injured player. McCormick is expected to miss the next four to six weeks because of an upper-body ailment.
Bruins leading scorer David Krejci has three goals and five assists in his last eight games against the Sabres. He also has 13 points in his last 12 overall (three goals, 10 assists), and was credited with assists on both of Zdeno Chara's goals Tuesday.
The Bruins and Sabres will wrap up their two-game set Saturday night at the TD Garden.