By John Vogl
BOSTON -- The pain caused by the Boston Marathon explosions will linger for awhile. The Sabres and Bruins hope they can ease it for a couple of hours.
The teams will face off in TD Garden tonight in Boston's first sporting event since the act of terror that marred Monday's race. The Bruins are expected to memorialize the three people who died and 176 who were wounded when a pair of bombs exploded near the finish line of the legendary marathon.
"I’m sure it will be full of emotions after obviously what happened on Monday," Bruins forward Chris Kelly said after the morning skate. "Your thoughts and prayers go out to everyone that was affected, and hopefully we can go out and play hard for the city of Boston.
"If we can go out and play hard and help the City of Boston anyway we can, I know everyone in this locker room will be willing to do that. We love the City of Boston, we love the people here. We just want to help."
The Sabres, while supporting the grieving people, are nonetheless intent on spoiling the Bruins' plans for a storybook night.
"Both teams need to win," said Sabres forward Nathan Gerbe, who played at Boston College. "I know we’re the opposing team, but we still want to go out and give a good effort. We just want to give a good show to the fans for two or three hours to get their minds off it."
The military and police presence in Boston is heightened and very visible, which has put players' minds at ease regarding gathering in a public place.
"Our city’s done a fantastic job of making people feel at ease," Kelly said. "If you ask anyone that walks around the city, there’s police officers everywhere. We feel comfortable playing, knowing that they’ve done a great job of making everyone feel safe."
The Sabres will use Ryan Miller in net for the first time in three games. The No. 1 goaltender watched as Jhonas Enroth won back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday.
Mikhail Grigorenko, who returned from juniors Tuesday, will be a healthy scratch, as expected. The Sabres have sent forward Luke Adam back to Rochester after he recorded one goal in four games and was scratched in three others.
"He’s made improvements in some areas," interim coach Ron Rolston said, "and other areas he’s got to do a better job in order to be here on a consistent basis."
taggedBoston Bruins | Luke Adam | Mikhail Grigorenko