As has been the case in recent history, despite the Sabres' struggles against most of the NHL, they fared much better against the Boston Bruins.
In the last three seasons, the Sabres have gone 9-6-2 against the Bruins, including 3-2-0 in 2012-13.
The Sabres' speed has been a major factor in their success, but some opportunistically soft goaltending from the Bruins has also led to a few wins.
Key Matchup: Cody Hodgson, Thomas Vanek and their RW versus Zdeno Chara
The Sabres have had success against the Bruins by somehow making Zdeno Chara look less like the all-world defenseman that he is at times.
The speed of the Sabres tends to work in their favor against the slower Chara, who typically compensates by using his 6'9" frame, but they have also pressured him into making non-characteristic mistakes in the defensive and neutral zones, too.
The Chicago Blackhawks did an excellent job of isolating Chara in last season's Stanley Cup Final, with him ending up with a minus-five overall in their six games, including forcing him to a minus-six in the last three games.
Vanek and Hodgson, and whichever RW they are paired with, will have the honor of skating against Chara most shifts this season. If they are able to have an even battle against the hulking defender, the Sabres will have a much better chance of continuing their success against the Bruins.
X-Factor: Marcus Foligno
Big-bodied, skilled wingers tend to be extremely important against the Bruins (see: Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad in last year's Stanley Cup Final).
Foligno has had scoring success in the preseason, and if he also can bring his physical play against Boston, he may be a big reason for a few Sabres wins.
Projected Record: 1-2-1, 3 points