Sabres vs. Bruins preview: Northeast Division rivals meet on Thurs. night

Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins (5-0-1) will host the Buffalo Sabres (2-3-1) in a Northeast Division match-up on Thursday night.

This will mark the first of five meetings between the division rivals this season.

Buffalo will be entering the contest off a 4-3 overtime defeat at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. After winning their first two games of the season, the team has failed to register a win in their last four contests and hadn't registered a point in three straight before taking Toronto to overtime.

Boston has jumped out to a hot start and has established themselves as an early season favorite to contend for the Eastern Conference crown. Having registered at least one point in every game to this point, the team has won in every situation from regulation to overtime to shootouts.

With Tuukka Rask (4-0-1; .932 save percentage and 1.74 GAA) handling the competition with ease thus far, concerns about his ability to fill in the shoes of Tim Thomas have been eased.

Currently boasting the fourth fewest goals against of any team thus far (2.00), the Bruins also have a 12th ranked offense, which is averaging 2.83 goals for per game. However, their power play has struggled this year, only converting on 12.5 percent of their advantages (ranked 24th), but the penalty kill is ranked as the No. 1 unit in the league (96.4 percent success rate).

Buffalo's power play is entering the game ranked as the 12th best in the league (22.7 percent).

Rask has already been confirmed as the starter, while Buffalo has yet to officially announce who will be in net.

Thursday's game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on MSG-Buffalo and NESN.

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