BUFFALO — Good afternoon from HSBC Arena, where the Bruins tonight take on the Sabres, their old Adams Division brethren. This is the third of six Northeast Divisional tilts between the clubs. The Bruins are 2-0-0 in the series thus far, squeezing out a 3-2 OT win in their most recent meeting. Figure Tuukka Rask in net tonight for the Bruins. Following a very brief morning workout, Rask was the first goalie to head for the dressing room, joining the likes of David Krejci, Mark Recchi and Shawn Thornton.
Puck drop: 7 p.m.
Record: Sabres, 12-14-4 — 28 points, Bruins, 16-8-4 — 36 points.
TV/radio info: NESN (Jack Edwards, Andy Brickley, Naoko Funayama), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)
Projected lineup:Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Blake Wheeler-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
Daniel Paille-Marc Savard-Michael Ryder
Brad Marchand-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Steven Kampfer
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Healthy scratches: Tyler Seguin.
Storylines: Coach Claude Julien says he will have to make a game-time decision on whether to go with Paille or Seguin, but he sounded as if he were leaning toward Paille, the ex-Sabre. ”This is probably my toughest decision in a long time,” said Julien. ”Either way, I am going to win and I am going to lose.”
Update: Scratch Seguin. Paille plays. Both Seguin and Paille skated in the pre-game warmup. Seguin and Brad Marchand were the last two Boston skaters to leave the ice at the end of warmups. Shortly after the warmup ended, a team spokesman said Seguin would sit and Paille would play
In other words, Julien knows that both players want to suit up, and the guy who sits is going to feel slighted. If Seguin has to sit, noted the coach, ”It’s an 82-game schedule…I don’t think it will kill him.”…Rask is a meager 2-6-1 thus far, but he won his last outing, a 5-2 triumph over the Islanders. Rask has yet to make back-to-back starts this season and that’s not likely to start this week–look for Thomas to get the nod against both the Canadiens (tomorrow night) and Caps (Saturday on Causeway Street)….Defenseman Adam McQuaid, dumped head-long into the boards by the Flyers’ Jody Shelley on Saturday, reports that he is feeling none the worse for wear. ”Just had the wind knocked out of me, and that took a little while to recover,” said the towering rookie. ‘No big deal.”…The club’s charter flight was denied access to the Buffalo-Niagara airport late Tuesday afternoon because of weather conditions (it snows here in the winter and people are forced to wear hats and gloves). After some 20 minutes of circling over Rochester Airport, some 50 miles to the east, the flight finally was allowed to land at a little-used airport in suburban Buffalo, closer to Niagara Falls.