Buffalo Sabres vs Boston Bruins 4/20/21 Game Preview

The Sabres are 5-3-3 in the month of April with wins over the Capitals and Penguins in the last week.

Tonight they face off against Taylor Hall and the Bruins for the 2nd time since the Trade Deadline. 

Expected Lines: 

Sabres

Skinner – Reinhart – Olofsson

Asplund – Mittelstadt – Thompson

Bjork – Cozens – Ruotsalainen

Rieder – Sheahan – Caggiula

Samuelsson – Ristolainen

Dahlin – Jokiharju

Bryson – Miller

Tokarski

Bruins

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak 

Hall – Krejci – Smith

Ritchie – Coyle – Debrusk

Kuraly – Lazar – Wagner

Grzelcyk – McAvoy

Reilly – Clifton

Lauzon – Zboril

Rask

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen Watch 

Ukko Pekka-Luukkonen has been recalled from the taxi squad and will back up Dustin Tokarski against the Bruins on Tuesday. 

Don Granato noted this morning that Luukkonen could make his NHL debut as early as Thursday when the Bruins and Sabres run it back. 

Luukkonen will wear #1 with Buffalo. 

Caggiula Sabres Debut

After being claimed off waivers from the Coyotes last week, forward Drake Caggiula is out of quarantine and set to make his Sabres debut.

Caggiula has 7 points (1G, 6A) in 27 games this season.

Reinhart working at Center

After the Reinhart-at-Center experiment seemed to die under Phil Housley and Ralph Krueger, Don Granato may be on to something. 

With Eichel out of the lineup, Reinhart’s play has stabilized the center ice position for Buffalo. With or without their captain beyond this season, the Sabres would be wise to keep Reinhart at center, given he maintains his play of late. 

WIth the emergence of Mittelstadt and Cozens, one can dream about a wealthy core down the middle for years to come. 

The Sabres have a big decision to make on Reinhart this offseason as he becomes a restricted free-agent. 

Dustin Tokarski — NHL First Star

A nice story in the Sabres solid run of late has been goaltender Dustin Tokarski. 

Tokarski recently registered his first win since 2015 and has now been named the league’s first star of the week. Tokarski was 2-1-1 on the week with a save percentage of .934.

Lukas Rousek Signed

This morning the Sabres inked 2019 6th round pick Lukas Rousek. Check out Curtis’ thread for a breakdown on Rousek and where he could slot in moving forward. 

Hall Finding Early Success in Boston

Taylor Hall seems to be finding early success with the Bruins, notching two goals and three points in 4 games with the Bruins thus far. 

Mittelstadt on fire 

Casey Mittelstadt has 10 points (7G, 3A) in his last 11 games. 

Mittelstadt’s hot play started almost instantly when Don Granato took over as Interim Head Coach and the 2018 1st rounder hasn’t slowed down since. Back at his natural position of center, Mittelstadt has showcased an added level of poise and confidence through the middle of the ice. Lauded for his playmaking coming out of the draft, MIttelstadt has started utilizing his shot more and is being rewarded in the goal column. 

Other Notes: 

Dylan Cozens has 5 assists in the last 5 games

Rasmus Dahlin has 8 points in the last 9 games

Sam Reinhart has 5 points in the last 5 games

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