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Buffalo Sabres vs. Boston Bruins

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Buffalo Sabres vs. Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres vs. Boston Bruins
Sabres-Bruins Preview

GAME: Buffalo Sabres (17-20-5-1) at Boston Bruins (18-11-10-4).

TIME: Monday, 7 p.m. EST.

Andrew Raycroft, re-emerging as a No. 1 goaltender, tries to lead the Boston Bruins to their fourth straight win as they host the Buffalo Sabres.

With an 0-5-3 record and 2.80 goals-against average in his final eight starts of 2003, Raycroft was benched in favor of Felix Potvin for Boston's first two games of 2004.

It now appears Raycroft will not be giving up the top netminder's role very easily. He's been in net for each of the Bruins' last three contests and has won them all, stopping 94 of 96 shots.

The win streak includes two victories over the Detroit Red Wings, owners of the league's best record. Raycroft made 27 saves Saturday and Joe Thornton scored in overtime as Boston beat Detroit 2-1.

"This goes to show you how good of a team we are in here, what kind of team we have. When we play with focus, and we come out and play hard we can compete with anybody," Raycroft said.

Boston has gone 4-0-1 this month to match its longest unbeaten streak of the season.

An improving penalty-killing unit has played a big role in the Bruins' resurgence. Boston has given up just two goals in its last 57 short-handed situations.

Boston is up to 23rd in the NHL in penalty killing after ranking second-to-last in mid-December.

"We've put a lot of work into (our penalty kill) from Day 1, and as a group I think they are really starting to understand what we are trying accomplish," Boston coach Mike Sullivan said.

The Sabres scored all of their goals on the power play Friday, ending Ottawa's 11-game unbeaten streak with a 3-2 victory. Buffalo wasted a 2-0 lead in the third period, but Rory Fitzpatrick atoned for three earlier penalties by scoring the winner with 2:47 to play.

"It's a little disturbing that we blew a two-goal lead with six minutes to go," said Daniel Briere, who had a goal and an assist. "But at the same time, it's great that we showed a lot of character and we came back and found a way to win the game."

Buffalo has lost twice in its last 10 games (5-2-3), giving up an average of just 1.8 goals.

2003-2004 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 13 '04 BUF 2 at BOS 3 - OT M. Knuble
Mar 11 '04 BOS 3 at BUF 2 - OT M. Knuble
Feb 05 '04 BOS 6 at BUF 2 P. Axelsson
Jan 22 '04 BUF 3 at BOS 2 M. Satan
Jan 15 '04 BOS 1 at BUF 0 S. Samsonov
Jan 12 '04 BUF 3 at BOS 4 S. Samsonov is the official Web site of The Buffalo Sabres. The Buffalo Sabres and are trademarks of The Hockey Western New York, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 The Hockey Western New York, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.