I would avoid the 287 to 95 route. Every time I succumb to the temptation of that route I suffer for it. Heavy traffic, bad roads, accidents, construction, back ups - nothing but misery.
On the other hand the Buffalo, Albany route seems too far north.
What I would do (and have done) is take 80 east all the way to Hazleton PA then north on 81 to Scranton PA then east on 84 to Hartford CT then 384 east to Bolton CT then 6 east all the way to Providence.
I've made the trip from the Mid Atlantic states to RI many, many times over the last 35 years. On paper the shortest route for me is always over the George Washington Bridge in NY. Second shortest is over the Tappan Zee Bridge. I actually once made it in a car from Manchester NH to Virginia in 9 hours over the GW bridge on a Sunday morning in the springtime. But that was like winning the lottery. Odds are if you're heading over the Tappan Zee bridge on 287 heading for 95 and up the CT coast - you're heading for trouble.
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