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Monday, December 28, 2015

NHL : Sabres-Bruins on Boxing Day

After three well-deserved days off, the NHL is back in action this Saturday with nine games, starting with an old Adams Division classic between the Buffalo Sabres (14-16-4) and the Boston Bruins (19-9-4). This will be their first meeting of the 2015-2016 campaign. Game time from the Garden is 7 PM ET on NESN.

The Sabres were the worst team in the league last year, and the year before that, allowing them to grab centers Sam Reinhart (eight goals, seven assists) and Jack Eichel (nine goals, seven assists) with back-to-back No. 2 overall selections. Their play has helped Buffalo inch back toward respectability under new head coach Dan Bylsma.

After a slow start, the Bruins have won 11 of their last 15 games to move within a point of the Montreal Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic Division. Tuukka Rask has yet to lose a game this month; the Finnish netminder is 5-0-2 with a sparkling .961 save percentage, allowing just eight goals combined. In October, Rask allowed 23 goals in seven games. Boston has also received solid goalkeeping this year from back-up Jonas Gustavsson (.912 save percentage). The under is 7-1 in Boston's last eight games.

Improving Sabres Visit Red-Hot Bruins
After two years in the NHL basement, the Buffalo Sabres (14-16-4) have come back to life under new head coach Dan Bylsma. But they'll be in tough Saturday night when they visit the Boston Bruins (19-9-4), who have won 11 of their last 15 games. The puck drops at 7 PM ET on NESN.

Boston's revival is due primarily to Finnish netminder Tuukka Rask. He's allowed just eight goals combined in his last seven starts, going 5-0-2 to bring the Bruins within one point of the  Montreal Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic Division.

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