The Bruins are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games, including two wins over the Sabres in TD Banknorth Garden, and have not lost in regulation since a 3-2 defeat Oct. 30 in Calgary. They have 32 points, tied with the New York Rangers atop the East, and hit town on a four-game winning streak.
Boston center Marc Savard entered Tuesday's play tied for second in the NHL in both assists (19) and points (27). He was named the league's First Star for the past week after collecting eight points in four games.
"Now that we know teams are coming for us, they're going to be ready every night," Savard said on this week's NHL First Star conference call. "Claude [coach Claude Julien] keeps us pretty honest on that side, that we've got to be ready every night. We're obviously a confident group, but we know what we have to do to win games, and that's work hard and stay with the system and play at both ends of the ice.
"We've been able to do that. Obviously we're getting great goaltending, and we're getting different guys stepping up every night. We're getting a good mix of things right now. We know it's only 20 games in, so we're not getting too high right now and try to keep an even keel. Things are going well."
The Bruins opened the season 2-2-3, and things really took off when goaltender Tim Thomas posted back-to-back 1-0 wins at Edmonton and Vancouver. Thomas leads the NHL with a 1.80 goals-against average and .944 save percentage but has not met the Sabres this year. Backup Manny Fernandez has also been strong (2.55 and .910) and has gone 2-0-1 against Buffalo.
"Tim's been huge," Savard said. "He's a great goaltender. He hasn't got a lot of credit over his career, but he's played really well for us this year. It's nice to have a goalie back there that's going to make that big save for you, and he's done that throughout the whole season.
"With Manny back there too it pushes Tim a bit more. Because when Manny goes in there he's played well. We've got a great one-two punch right now."
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The Sabres will be wearing their new third jerseys tonight and Friday against Pittsburgh. The jersey will go on sale at 10 a.m. today at the Sabres Store in the Arena pavilion and will be sold exclusively there through Sunday (closed Thursday for Thanksgiving).
The store opens each day at 10 a.m. and will remain open through the end of both games. A game ticket is required for entry after 5 p.m. Hours on Saturday will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday's hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Replica and authentic jerseys will be available. A blank replica is $124 and a lettered replica is $179. A blank authentic jersey is $295. All prices include tax.
There are fewer than 1,000 tickets left for tonight's game, which is under Silver pricing ($47-$132).
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Winger Ales Kotalik (hamstring) skated on his own Monday for the first time since he was knocked out of the lineup Nov. 14 against Columbus.
Center Tim Connolly (broken rib) remains in week-to-week mode.
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Philadelphia's Jeff Carter, who scored two goals here Friday night, tallied his 15th of the season Monday against Dallas to tie Buffalo's Thomas Vanek for the NHL lead.
Carter's next game is also tonight, at Carolina. Washington's Alexander Semin is third with 13 goals.