Sabres aim for back-to-back wins in clash with Bruins

Updated: December 19, 2013

( – The Buffalo Sabres will try to win consecutive games for
the first time in over a month when they host the first-place Boston Bruins in
the opener of a home-and-home series at First Niagara Center.

The Sabres last won back-to-back outings on Nov. 12 and 15, but a victory
tonight would give Buffalo its first two-game winning streak since Ted Nolan
took over head coaching duties from the fired Ron Rolston.

Nolan, who is in his second stint behind the Buffalo bench, won his first game
of 2013-14 on Nov. 15, three days after Rolston coached his last contest with
the Sabres in a shootout victory over Los Angeles. Overall, things have only
improved slightly for the Sabres since the coaching switch, with Buffalo going
4-8-2 under Nolan after starting the year 4-15-1.

The Sabres are 2-1-1 over their last four games, however, and are coming off
Tuesday’s home win against Winnipeg. Matt Moulson notched a third-period goal
to give Buffalo the lead en route to a 4-2 win over the visiting Jets.

Marcus Foligno and Matt Ellis also scored in the third to complete the
comeback. Steve Ott lit the lamp in the second to help the Sabres snap a two-
game skid, while Ryan Miller turned aside 25 shots in the victory.

The Jets grabbed a 2-0 lead on a pair of quick goals from Mark Scheifele early
in the second period, but Buffalo was able to keep Winnipeg from scoring the
rest of the way.

“It’s a real big step for this hockey club,” Ellis said of the win.

Buffalo, which will visit the Bruins on Saturday, improved to 5-12-2 as the
host after Tuesday’s victory.

The Bruins lead the Atlantic Division with 48 points — 29 more than last-
place Buffalo — and enter this evening’s clash having won five of their last
six games, including Tuesday’s shutout victory over visiting Calgary.

Boston beat the Flames 2-0 as Tuukka Rask posted 21 saves for his third
shutout of the season. Zdeno Chara scored both goals with Jarome Iginla and
David Krejci each posting two assists for the Bruins, who were coming off a
3-1-0 road trip when they notched a sixth straight home victory.

“I’m just trying to work hard and be there for loose pucks and create traffic
and finding some openings. So really the main thing is to just work extremely
hard,” said Chara after his two-goal night.

The Bruins are just 9-6-0 on the road this season compared to a stellar 14-3-2
mark at TD Garden. However, Boston did win in Buffalo earlier this season,
recording a 5-2 triumph on Oct. 23, as Milan Lucic and Torey Krug each scored
twice. Chad Johnson needed to make only 14 saves in the win for Boston, while
Miller stopped 29 shots in a losing effort.

Boston has won five of the last eight meetings against the Sabres overall, and
the Bruins have taken two straight and three of the past four encounters at
First Niagara Center.