Bourque scratched, MacDermid called up for Sabres game

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Bourque scratched, MacDermid called up for Sabres game

Bruins coach Claude Julien talked down any reference to their bad blood with the Buffalo Sabres as speculation, but actions usually speak louder than words. The Bs coach has inserted AHL tough guy Lane MacDermid into the lineup as a fourth-line winger along with Shawn Thornton, and scuffling left wing Chris Bourque will take a seat as a healthy scratch for the first time this season.

But Julien wasnt going to opine on why the Sabres opted to sign 6-foot-8, 260-pound enforcer John Scott and trade for noted agitator Steve Ott in the offseason a couple of clear signs that Buffalo was looking to toughen up against their divisional foes in Boston. Thats been the case since Milan Lucic trucked Ryan Miller at the beginning of last year, and set off a bitter rivalry between the Bs and Sabres that lasted throughout the regular season.

I have no problem with anything. Its Buffalos choice to build a team any way they want, said Julien. Speculation is speculation as far as Im concerned, and thats all it is until something happens. Weve played our style of game forever and we dont plan on changing that. Theres nothing, as far as Im concerned, to be worried about.

The Bruins coach was pressed and asked if there's any carryover from the LucicMiller fracas last season, even after Paul Gaustad addressed the situation by dropping the gloves with Boston's power forward in Buffalo last year.

"You're asking the wrong coach," said Julien, with a nod that any extra aggression would be coming from Buffalo's end.

Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice for the Bruins at morning skate and hell get the start against Buffalo as the Sabres are expected to counter with Ryan Miller between the pipes. Here are the expected lines and pairings tonight with Adam McQuaid also returning to the lineup:

Lucic-Krejci-Horton
Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin
Paille-Kelly-Peverley
MacDermid-Campbell-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk
Seidenberg-Hamilton
Ference-McQuaid

Rask

Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

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Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Tuukka Rask made 35 saves to help the Bruins hold off the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Saturday

David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron scored to give Boston a 2-0 lead and the Bruins improved to 3-0-1 in their past four.

Evander Kane scored his first goal of the season for Buffalo. Robin Lehner returned after missing one game with a hip injury and made 32 saves.

The Sabres combined for nine goals in their previous two wins but the NHL's lowest-scoring team reverted to form from the first 21 games, when star center Jack Eichel was out of the lineup with a high-ankle sprain.

Krejci got the Bruins on the scoreboard with 5:50 left in the first when he deflected Brandon Carlo's slap shot from the point off the right post and into the net.

The Sabres appeared to tie the game late in the second period but replays determined Brian Gionta kicked the puck into the net.

Bergeron made it 2-0 at 7:10 of the second at 7:44 of the third when he knocked on the rebound of his own missed shot. Bergeron initially hit the puck with his forearm on the left edge of the crease and skated around the net to chase down the puck and slip a backhand past Lehner.

The Sabres answered two minutes later, scoring on Rask for the first time in 109:12 this season. Sam Reinhart's feed off the rear wall set up Kane for a wrist shot from the slot that bounced in off Krejci. Reinhart has five points in his last four games.

NOTES: Bruins F Matt Beleskey was escorted to the dressing room in the final minute of the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. ... Sabres D Josh Gorges did not play after injuring his foot blocking a shot in Thursday's win over the New York Rangers. With Dmitry Kulikov (lower back) and Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain) also out, the Sabres were down three of their top four defenseman and recalled 19-year-old Brendan Guhle from the minors to make his NHL debut. Guhle hustled back to thwart a breakaway by Krejci late in the third period. ... F Anton Blidh became the seventh Bruin to make his NHL debut this season after being recalled from the minors on Friday. ... The Bruins scratched F Jimmy Hayes. D Zdeno Chara, the Bruins' captain, missed his sixth straight game with a lower-body injury. ... Rask got a shutout in Boston's 4-0 win over Buffalo on Nov. 7.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Host Florida on Monday.

Sabres: At Washington on Monday.

 

© 2016 by STATS and The Associated Press.