Even a foreign object couldn’t slow down the Boston Bruins, and
it’s been almost two years since the Buffalo Sabres have managed to
do it at TD Garden.
The Bruins go for their longest season-opening home winning
streak in over 22 years Thursday night when they try to continue
their success against the Sabres.
Boston (5-0-1) has been one of the NHL’s best teams this season,
and a big reason for that success is wins in each of its first four
home games. The Bruins last opened a season 5-0-0 at home in
1990-91, when they played at Boston Garden.
“We’ve played some pretty good hockey so far,” coach Claude
Julien said. “And the games that weren’t quite as good as we should
have been, we found a way to win. And to be a good team you’ve got
to be able to do that.”
Their dazzling start this season wasn’t derailed by a bizarre
incident in Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout win over New Jersey. Tyler
Seguin scored the opening shootout attempt, but the referees ruled
that he had to go again after an object from the crowd was flung
into the crease.
Seguin converted the do-over before Brad Marchand netted the
decisive attempt in the sixth round.
“That’s a first,” Seguin said. “I’m still not sure what it was.
Maybe a hot dog.”
Boston will try to remain perfect on home ice and make it four
straight wins there against Buffalo (2-3-1). Including three wins
in the opening round of the 2009-10 playoffs, the Bruins are 8-1-1
in their last 10 home games against the Northeast Division
Seguin has scored four goals and set up two others over the last
three home games versus Buffalo.
Nathan Horton has points in four straight contests, totaling
three goals and two assists. He’s tallied three goals while
assisting on another in his past four home meetings with the
Since opening the season with back-to-back wins, Buffalo has
gone 0-3-1 in its last four, including a 4-3 loss to Toronto on
Tuesday after Ryan Miller surrendered a goal with 1.5 seconds left
The Sabres suffered another blow when right wing Patrick Kaleta
was taken to a hospital with a neck injury after being hit by the
Maple Leafs’ Mike Brown, who was assessed a minor penalty.
Coach Lindy Ruff didn’t think the hit was dirty, and Kaleta was
released from the hospital Wednesday, but is out indefinitely.
“It wasn’t a blatant run a guy from behind,” Ruff said.
Thomas Vanek had an assist Tuesday after missing a 3-2 loss at
Washington two days earlier due to a muscle injury. He has 10
points during a season-opening five-game scoring streak, one shy of
his career high set last season when he had as many points in six
Vanek’s 25 goals and 49 points versus Boston are his highest
totals against any opponent. He has four goals and five assists
during a six-game point streak at TD Garden.
Miller, who gave up more than three goals for the first time
this season Tuesday, has won six of his last seven starts against
the Bruins behind a 2.47 goals-against average.