Sabres-Bruins Preview

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

in overtime.

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.