The Buffalo Sabres are showing signs of life even though victories have been scarce and look to earn at least one point for the sixth time in seven games when they host the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. The Sabres, who are last in the Eastern Conference, are 2-1-3 in their last six contests after suffering a 5-4 overtime loss to Carolina on Friday despite the first career hat trick from Jack Eichel.
“We think we’re never out of games, and that’s been the case this year,” Eichel told reporters. “There’s some things that we obviously have to get better at in our D-zone. We did some good things, and obviously - as a group - we all want to get better. It’s not good enough at this point.” Buffalo will try to match its performance in a 5-4 overtime victory on Oct. 21 against the Bruins, who routed Columbus 7-2 on Monday for their 10th win in 14 games (10-3-1). David Pastrnak (12 games) and linemate Brad Marchand (nine) carry career-high point streaks into Tuesday’s contest, but Boston is not expected to have David Krejci (upper body) in the lineup after he was a late scratch against the Blue Jackets. The Bruins have won five of their last six games on the road and are 6-5-2 overall away from home.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA, NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE BRUINS (16-10-5): Pastrnak has recorded five goals and nine assists while Marchand has netted six tallies and set up eight others during their point streaks. Patrice Bergeron registered his second multi-point performance in three games on Monday and rookie Danton Heinen has shown he wants to stay in the NHL with four goals and five assists in his last seven contests. Rookie Anders Bjork took Krejci’s spot in the lineup against Columbus and posted an assist for his second point in eight contests after recording nine in his first 15 games.
ABOUT THE SABRES (8-18-7): Eichel, who also notched an assist on Friday, pushed his season total to 28 points - three behind team leader and linemate Evander Kane, who has collected two goals and six assists in his last seven games. “He’s a special player, but when he skates like he was (Friday), it makes him even more special,” veteran forward Jason Pominville told reporters of Eichel. “He was on his toes. He was moving. It makes him extremely tough to defend when he plays that way.” Jacob Josefson, who has been out since Nov. 25 with an ankle injury, could return Tuesday.
1. The Sabres snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Bruins with the victory earlier this season.
2. Buffalo G Robin Lehner, who owns a .924 save percentage this month, is 4-10-3 lifetime versus Bruins - including a win in October.
3. Boston rookie D Charlie McAvoy posted a Gordie Howe hat trick - a goal, an assist and a fighting major - in Monday’s victory.
PREDICTION: Sabres 4, Bruins 3