National Hockey League
Sabres-Bruins Preview
National Hockey League

Sabres-Bruins Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 9:41 p.m. ET

Jack Eichel's most productive game as a pro came in his triumphant return to Boston just after Christmas, but the Buffalo Sabres' star rookie couldn't lead his team past the Bruins earlier this week.

The Sabres and Eichel seek a better result in their next visit to the TD Garden on Saturday night, when they'll again have to contend with a red-hot Brad Marchand.

Eichel had two goals and two assists in a 6-3 victory against the Bruins on Dec. 26. The former Boston University star and No. 2 overall draft pick hasn't registered more than two points in any of his other 51 games.

Eichel, the Sabres' second-leading scorer with 35 points, was kept off the scoresheet for the second time in seven contests in Thursday's 3-2 shootout defeat to Boston. Marchand tallied his eighth goal in eight games to complete the Bruins' rally from a 2-0 deficit.


"(Marchand has) been really good," said coach Claude Julien, whose team is 5-2-1 during his binge. "Tonight he wasn't just good scoring, he was good everywhere; he was all over the ice. When he plays like that he becomes one of the good players around the league, no doubt."

While it's won four straight on the road, Boston (27-18-6) is 3-6-1 in its last 10 home games, including the loss to the Sabres. The Bruins blew a two-goal lead in their return from the All-Star break Tuesday, a 4-3 overtime defeat to Toronto, and are hoping to get a boost from Thursday's comeback.

"Those are the type of games we need to know how to win, and I thought we showed some good character," Marchand told the team's official website.

Buffalo, though, has won five of seven on the road and out to match a season high with a third consecutive win there.

"The best thing about this league is you get another opportunity. Even better, it's against those guys in Boston in a couple days so we're going to prepare and focus on playing these guys again," forward Sam Reinhart told his team's official website.

The Sabres (21-26-5) have won in each of their past two visits to Boston. Ryan O'Reilly provided two goals and an assist in the latest trip to the Garden.

The Sabres' leading scorer has seven assists in his last 11 games but hasn't added to his team-best 17 goals. Eichel, who has 16 goals, scored twice in a 3-2 win in Ottawa on Jan. 26.

Boston has won two of the three meetings with Buffalo this season, with Ryan Spooner totaling two goals and two assists in those victories. He also provided the shootout winner Thursday.

Marchand's 14 goals against the Sabres are his most versus any opponent, but Thursday's tally was his first in the past five matchups.

Buffalo's Evander Kane has six goals and one assist in his past nine games against Boston. He has scored four of his 12 goals in the past eight contests.


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