The Sabres have been going well lately. They're 2-0-1 in the last three games, 7-3-2 in the last 12. So are they finally starting to play like people expected all season?
They're about to find out.
The Sabres host Boston on Friday and visit the New York Rangers on Saturday. Boston is second in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers are first.
"Both teams, it’s a good test for us," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said after practice today. "It will tell us where we’re at."
The Sabres beat the Bruins in the teams' last meeting, a 6-0 thrashing on Feb. 8. Boston arrived in Buffalo today after a 4-2 victory in St. Louis on Wednesday. They will practice in First Niagara Center this afternoon.
"When Boston rolled in here last time around, we knew it was going to be a test," Ruff said. "They had a hard game last night. I thought St. Louis maybe had the edge in play for a lot of the time, but they created a couple big turnovers where they were able to put the puck in the back of the net. They’ve got good size, they’ve got good grit."
The Sabres practiced without Brad Boyes. The forward suffered an injury midway through the third period of Tuesday's 2-1 victory over the Islanders.
"He’s a little banged-up, so we’ll have to see whether he can play tomorrow or not," Ruff said. "It happened late in the game. We dealt with it, had treatment on it yesterday, but we’ll see whether he can get through it."
Cody McCormick (upper body) practiced in Boyes' spot but is not cleared to return.
Ruff got a chuckle out of the Bruins' Brad Marchand, who today told WEEI radio in Boston that "Buffalo is the worst city in the NHL."
"I just laugh," Ruff said. "I just laugh. It’s just another guy that hasn’t lived here or been here."