Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Mar 19, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Victor Olofsson (71) tries to defend as Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle (13) looks to take a shot on goal during the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Through the first month of the season, washing a bad taste out of their collective mouth has not been a problem for the 2023-24 Bruins.

In fact, the Bruins have posted a 2-0-0 record following defeats out of the gate this season, and some of those wins have featured some of the Bruins’ best, true team efforts to date. (Boston’s response against the Red Wings after an ugly-looking loss to the Ducks two nights prior comes to mind here.)

And the Bruins, who suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to the Canadiens in their last outing, will look to keep that personal brand of on-ice mouthwash swishing around Tuesday night when they travel to Buffalo for a showdown with the Sabres.

  • In what will be the first of three head-to-heads with the Sabres in 2023-24, the Sabres will be looking for a bounce-back outing of their own, with the club taking a 4-0 loss to the Penguins in their last outing.

    The Bruins took last year’s season series by a 3-0-1 mark — and outscored Buffalo 20-6 over that four-game sample — and have won 17 of their last 19 road showdowns against Buffalo dating back to 2014.

    Here are four players to watch for when the B’s and Sabres get underway in Buffalo…

  • Brad Marchand

    Nov 2, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 2, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period at the TD Garden. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

  • If we’re talking Sabre Killers, we’re talking Brad Marchand.

    Over the last three seasons, the 5-foot-9 Boston captain has skated in just 15 games against Buffalo, and over that 15-game sample, he has recorded four goals and 16 assists for a staggering 20 points. That’s tied with the Rangers’ Artemi Panarin for the most points against the Sabres over that span.

    And if we care to go back to when Marchand first broke into the league as a full-time NHLer in 2010-11, Marchand has recorded 24 goals and 62 points in 59 games against the Sabres. His 24 goals are second to only the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin (28 goals), while Marchand’s 62 points are the most in the league, with a four-point edge over Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby on that front.

    Marchand also comes into this game riding a three-game point streak (two goals and five points), and has recorded three goals and eight points over his last seven games overall.

  • Charlie Coyle

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 30: Charlie Coyle #13 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the first period against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden on October 30, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 30: Charlie Coyle #13 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the first period against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden on October 30, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

  • Here’s a bit of an early-season fun fact for you: Through 14 games this season, Bruins center Charlie Coyle has yet to go two games in a row without a point. And after posting a 0-0-0 in last Saturday’s overtime loss to the Canadiens, you know what means for the 6-foot-3 center from Weymouth.

    Now, is it fair to expect Coyle to come through with a repeat of last week’s hat trick against the Isles? Of course not. But this is indeed a juicy matchup for No. 13, all things considered. Coyle was a point-per-game guy against Buffalo last year (one goal and four points in four meetings), and comes into this game with five goals and 13 points in 19 head-to-heads with the Sabres since joining the Bruins in 2019.

  • Jakub Lauko

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 21: Jakub Lauko #94 of the Boston Bruins during warmups at Crypto.com Arena on October 21, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 21: Jakub Lauko #94 of the Boston Bruins during warmups at Crypto.com Arena on October 21, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • A 22-game NHL run for Jakub Lauko last season actually came with some of his best work against the Sabres.

    In two meetings with Buffalo last year, Lauko recorded two goals (including a game-winning goal), and averaged 12:22 of time on ice (his highest average against any opponent).

    Lauko is still looking for his first point of the new campaign, and Tuesday will mark his second game back in action since suffering a facial fracture on a skate to the face back on Oct. 24 in Chicago, meaning his game rhythm should be a touch better in this one.

  • Connor Clifton

    ELMONT, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 14: Connor Clifton #75 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against the New York Islanders at UBS Arena on October 14, 2023 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    ELMONT, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 14: Connor Clifton #75 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against the New York Islanders at UBS Arena on October 14, 2023 in Elmont, New York. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

  • Former Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton truly wanted to stay with the Bruins. He was even willing to take a little bit less than his market value after a career year to make that happen. But a messy cap situation for the Bruins made a raise by all means impossible, so it was off to Buffalo, where Clifton was able to reunite with Don Granato, with whom he had a relationship predating his time with the B’s organization.

    Now comes seeing if Clifton can have himself a little ‘revenge game’ of sorts against the Bruins.

    It was a bit of a rocky start for Clifton in Buffalo, too, as he had a minus-6 rating and zero points through his first six games with the club. But things have started to turn a bit, with two assists and a plus-2 rating over his last eight outings. Clifton has also brought his physical presence to the sheet of late, with 17 hits and eight blocks over that recent eight-game sample.

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