Sabres-Bruins Preview

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, the Boston

Bruins will try to help the city forget about the tragic events for

at least a few hours.

Two days after their game was postponed following the

explosions, the Bruins return to the ice to host the Buffalo Sabres

on Wednesday night.

Boston (26-11-4) was scheduled to meet Ottawa on Monday night at

TD Garden, but the NHL postponed that game after two bombs exploded

near the finish line of the marathon earlier in the day, killing

three people and injuring more than 170.

The league said it “wishes to express its sympathy to all

affected by the tragic events that took place in Boston earlier

this afternoon.”

The Bruins now get back to the business of hockey, and they have

plenty to play for. Along with trying to help a wounded city heal,

Boston is on the verge of securing a playoff spot and sits one

point behind Northeast Division-leading Montreal.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs expressed his sympathies to victims

of the bombings in a statement released on the team’s website.

“I have no doubt that the amazing people in Boston will continue

to display great strength and resiliency,” Jacobs said. “We will be

there to offer our support in any way that we can in the wake of

this tragedy.”

The Bruins will be looking to avoid a third straight loss after

falling 4-2 at Carolina on Saturday. The Hurricanes entered the

game on a seven-game skid, but Boston allowed them to score twice

on the power play after killing 17 of 18 penalties in its previous

seven games.

“We had some brain cramps out there,” coach Claude Julien said.

“The mistakes we made were not helpful – two power-play goals.

Those are things we’re dealing with right now.”

Buffalo (18-19-6) is dealing with trying to move into the top

eight in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres have won two straight

and five of seven as they make a late-season playoff push.

On Tuesday, though, that talk was placed on the backburner as

players and Sabres officials were instead expressing sorrow,

sympathy and dismay in the wake of the tragic events.

“Life’s way more important than hockey,” forward Nathan Gerbe

said. “I think everyone in the world feels their pain. It’s

heartbreaking.”

And Gerbe, who played at Boston College, acknowledged he’s “a

little nervous” about traveling to Boston.

“You’re worried because they don’t know exactly why and how and

who,” Gerbe said. “I don’t know if I’m going to go out walking in

the city or not. I’ll probably just stay in the hotel and

chill.”

General manager Darcy Regier had no concerns, and expects a

heightened security presence in the city and at the arena.

“Obviously, it affects all of us, and it’s tragic and horrific.

But no, I don’t have reservations. You just move forward,” Regier

said. “It’s going to be pretty difficult not to think about what

happened, obviously. But ultimately, we’re there to play a hockey

game and focus on winning a game.”

Sabres forward Steve Ott expects there to be a somber mood

inside the arena.

“Obviously, it’s going to be a little bit overwhelming to start

the game with heavy hearts,” Ott said. “But we’re going to go out

there and try to play our hardest for the people, and at least try

to put some smiles on the faces for at least a couple of hours,

anyhow.”

These teams have split four meetings this season, with Buffalo

winning 7-4 in the only matchup in Boston on Jan. 31 as Thomas

Vanek had three goals and two assists.