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Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Bruins host Sabres days after tragedy

Apr 17, 2013, 8:04 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 31: Jochen Hecht #55 of the Buffalo Sabres looks to shoot in front of Milan Lucic #17 of the Boston Bruins on March 31, 2013 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

Tonight the Boston Bruins will host the Buffalo Sabres at 7:30 p.m. ET at the TD Garden. The game will be on NBCSN and can be watched online.

It’s impossible to pretend that this is just another game and in equal measure, it is hard to judge a sporting event as important for Boston just days after the Boston Marathon bombings.

All the same, when the Bruins and Sabres play tonight, they will be trying to bring some joy to a wounded city by doing what they know best.

“In some sense, you feel a bit helpless as far as what you can do after the fact as far as action,” Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference told the Boston Globe. “We’ll do our job and make sure we’re there when people need us and think of anything possible we can do to help.”

“That is why we play: To entertain and bring joy to people’s lives,” Patrice Bergeron added in a CSN New England report.

Bergeron hasn’t played since April 2, but he is very likely to return on Wednesday.

The Bruins will be facing a Sabres team that needs every point they can get. Buffalo got some help on Tuesday when the Philadelphia Flyers beat the eighth place New York Rangers. However, the Sabres are still four points out of a playoff spot with just five games left in their schedule to the Rangers’ six.

Boston can secure its playoff spot by getting at least one point in this contest. They are also in a battle with Montreal for the Northeast Division title.

That’s not what’s on their minds though.

“We represent the city of Boston and we want to make sure we represent them well,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien on Tuesday. He later added, “We don’t expect tomorrow to be the day that everything’s going to be okay. But you’ve got to start somewhere and tomorrow’s a great time for us to go out there and play our hearts out for all the right reasons.”

Probable goaltenders: BOS – Tuukka Rask (17-8-4, 1.99 GAA, .929 SV%) | BUF – Ryan Miller (14-17-5, 2.84 GAA, .913 SV%)

Top scorers: BOS – Brad Marchand (16-17-33, 38 GP) | BUF – Thomas Vanek (16-18-34, 33 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Boston – Forwards: Bergeron (concussion – probable), Marchand (concussion), Marc Savard (concussion)
Buffalo – Forwards: Ville Leino (upper body) Defensemen: Tyler Myers (leg), Alexander Sulzer (lower body)

  1. mustbechris - Apr 17, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    This isn’t quite related, but listen, can we stop calling this a tragedy? It detracts from the fact that it was a terrorist attack, regardless of whether it’s foreign or homegrown. Hurricane Sandy was a tragedy. This was a calculated ending/maiming/changing of human lives by another human or group of humans.

    • sportsfreak13 - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      The definition of tragedy is “An event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe”.

      • mustbechris - Apr 18, 2013 at 8:58 AM

        I feel like it’s a step further though. Like I feel like officially going by “The Boston Tragedy” is similar to referring to the Kings as the 2012 Western Conference Champions without mentioning they won the Cup. Except completely the opposite, I guess.

        I don’t know. It was early in the morning. I certainly wouldn’t say I have an agenda of any sorts as someone else suggested.

      • sportsfreak13 - Apr 18, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        The internet is a place where people’s comments can be misread or miss interpreted. I get what your saying though.

    • sabatimus - Apr 17, 2013 at 7:28 PM

      Exactly what the hell are you talking about?

  2. habssuck - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    If you think the bombing was not tragic you might need to grab a dictionary.

    Good luck with your pointless agenda.

    • mustbechris - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:00 AM

      No, I wasn’t saying it’s not tragic, I was saying it’s tragic+. It was early and I was sleep deprived. I probably should have just put my phone away and went to get a shower.

  3. upyourstodd - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    The fact someone would quivel over the terming of the events that took place on Monday is absurd and borderline offensive…. Regardless, this pregame ceremony will be nothing short of moving. I know I am going to have a tough time keeping it together. Go Bruins. God Bless.

  4. buffalomafia - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Why all the hate? Fire Regeire! NOW!

    • billsin20xx - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      I agree with “Go Bruins” – Sabres need to get rid of this stupid playoff fantasy and start shooting for a better draft pick. Make the Bruins feel good and let them win tonight!
      Then FIRE REGIER!!!

  5. 8man - Apr 17, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    I am immensely looking forward to this game. The Bs have some key people returning. They’ve had a nice rest. It’s a spirited opponent and long time rival. Maybe I’ll fall asleep tonight with them winning and knowing the authorities have someone responsible for Monday’s horrific, senseless and despicable act in custody.

  6. scalfor3 - Apr 17, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Rene Rancourt, this is the biggest night of your life

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