This time they ended Buffalo’s four-game win streak with a 6-2 victory.
Third Period, 18:20, Bruins 6-2: Kaleta puts a hit on Thornton, but wants nothing to do with the Bruins tough guy when Thornton challenges him. They each get two minutes for roughing and misconducts.
Third Period, 16:22, Bruins 6-2: The Sabres can’t convert that chance, and the Bruins maintain a four-goal lead with less than four minutes to play.
Third Period, 14:22, Bruins 6-2: The Sabres will get another power-play chance as some undisciplined play by the Bruins could make this one closer than it should be. Nathan Horton goes to the box this time for slashing Patrick Kaleta.
Third Period, 13:20, Bruins 6-2: The Sabres strike on the power play as Marc-Andre Gragnani blasts a laser from the left circle off the far post and in.
Third Period, 11:50, Bruins 6-1: The Sabres will go on the power play as Zach Hamill is sent to the box for high-sticking.
Third Period, 9:52, Bruins 6-1: The Bruins add yet another, this time with Brad Marchand lifting a backhander from the top of the crease at the right side of the goal.
Seguin picks up another point with the assist, and Chara also gets a helper.
Third Period, 7:11, Bruins 5-1: The Bruins keep scoring in bunches, with Tyler Seguin adding his second of the night.
Seguin buried it top shelf from the slot off a great backhand feed by Patrice Bergeron, who drove the net and dropped it back to Seguin.
Third Period, 5:28, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins add another, as Chris Kelly scores.
That came after Milan Lucic just missed with a chance from David Krejci that hit the post. But Kelly buried his chance at the right post off a perfect crossing feed by Rich Peverley.
Third Period, 4:03, Bruins 3-1: The original merlot line was together again briefly as Marchand came on for a line change and almost was sent in by Thornton, but Tyler Myers pinched him off to prevent the chance.
Third Period, 0:01, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins are back at full strength and Jhonas Enroth is now in goal for the Sabres, replacing Ryan Miller.
Third Period, 0:00, Bruins 3-1: The final frame is under way here at the Garden, with just one second left on Adam McQuaid’s hooking penalty.
The Bruins are 6-0-0 when leading after two periods this season. The Sabres are 0-4-0 when trailing after two.
Second Intermission Notes: The Bruins cashed in on their chances in the second to take a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes. Once again, they’re getting contributions from throughout the lineup with three different lines scoring. They also once again struck for two quick ones, with Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton scoring just 16 seconds apart.
One source for the Bruins’ success so far has been their domination of the draws. Boston is 36-11 on faceoffs (77 percent), with Patrice Bergeron (12-1) and Gregory Campbell (8-2) leading the way. Chris Kelly is also 4-0 and David Krejci is 6-2.
Rich Peverley scored Boston’s first goal in his first game back from an undisclosed injury. He’s a plus-1 with three shots in 11:41 and is showing no signs of rust. Steven Kampfer had a little more action in the second, and is now plus-1 in eight shifts totaling 6:08. Zdeno Chara is picking up the slack on defense. he’s already played 17:12 with an assist, four shots and two hits. He also got belted by Patrick Kaleta, who knocked the big man over with a big hit behind the Bruins net.
That was just one bit of the rough stuff so far. The Bruins have a 17-8 edge in hits, but so far the gloves have stayed on and most of the animosity has been limited to chirping. That could change with another goal or two by the Bruins to extend this lead in the third.
End Second Period, Bruins 3-1: Two frames are done now, and the second went much better for the Bruins, who scored three times to take a 3-1 lead on Buffalo.
Second Period, 18:01, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins have a big penalty to kill at the end of the second here, as Adam McQuaid gets called for hooking Paul Gaustad.
Second Period, 14:05, Bruins 3-1: The rough stuff continues with matching minors after another scrum. Kaleta gets two for slashing and McQuaid two for roughing and it will be 4 on 4 for the next two minutes.
Second Period, 13:45, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins strike for two quick ones once again, as Nathan Horton stretches the lead to two goals.
Johnny Boychuk sprang him for another 2 on 1 with Krejci, and Horton took the shot from the left wing for the tally.
Second Period, 13:29, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins take their first lead as Tyler Seguin scores from Brad Marchand.
Marchand stole the puck from Tyler Myers just outside the blue line and broke in down the left side on a 2 on 1 with Seguin. Marchand fed it over to Seguin at the right post for an easy tap in.
Second Period, 10:11, 1-1: Things are definitely heating up at the Garden, with Marchand and Roy again nose to nose after the whistle. That follows a shift with just about every Bruin going after Sabres agitator Patrick Kaleta, who received some choice words from Shawn Thornton in particular.
Thornton also jawed with Nathan Gerbe off the faceoff following Peverley’s goal. Lots of talk in this one, but the Sabres have been unwilling to back it up so far.
Second Period, 7:40, 1-1: The Bruins pull even on a great effort from Rich Peverley, who scores in his first game back.
Peverley drove down the left wing, cut to the front of the net and slipped the puck through Miller’s legs to tie it.
Second Period, 6:43, Sabres 1-0: Brad Marchand and Derek Roy continue their war of words, this time with Marchand giving him a light hook after the whistle and losing his stick in the process.
Second Period, 4:16, Sabres 1-0: Gregory Campbell with a steal and chance from the left side that tips off Miller’s glove and goes just wide.
Second Period, 1:09, Sabres 1-0: The Bruins had no better luck with the second half of that penalty than they did with the first, and the sides are back even now.
Second Period, 0:00, Sabres 1-0: The middle frame is under way, with the Bruins still having 1:09 left on their power play for Ville Leino’s hooking penalty.
First Intermission Notes: Interesting opening frame at the Garden, where the only goal came on a bank-shot from below the goal line by Thomas Vanek to give Buffalo the 1-0 lead.
That was it for the scoring, but the action was far from done. There was some early chirping between Brad Marchand and Derek Roy, but the real nastiness came when Milan Lucic barrelled over Ryan Miller, who had come out to play the puck and prevent a Lucic breakaway. Lucic was called for charging, but more noteworthy may have been the utter lack of response from the Sabres on the ice, who did little to come to their goalie’s defense. The only attempt came from Miller himself, as he swung his stick at Lucic from the ice, but did not connect. It will be interesting to see if anyone steps up to challenge Lucic the rest of the night.
Rich Peverley played 5:27 in his first period back with a pair of shots and a takeaway. Zach Hamill looked solid and made one nice backcheck covering for Johnny Boychuk. Steven Kampfer got just two shifts for 1:25 in his first game back as the Bruins mostly went with just five defensemen.
End First Period, Sabres 1-0: The opening 20 minutes are in the books. The Sabres got the only goal, but the Bruins may have gotten the spark they needed with Milan Lucic’s hit on Ryan Miller and the Sabres’ lack of response to it.
First Period, 19:08, Sabres 1-0: The Bruins have another power play and Miller has another bruise, as Ville Leino goes off for hooking. That penalty sent Seguin crashing into Miller and he drove the net looking for a rebound.
First Period, 16:50, Sabres 1-0: Much better movement on that power play but the Bruins still can’t convert as the sides are now back at even strength.
First Period, 14:50, Sabres 1-0: The Sabres even up that penalty as Drew Stafford is called for tripping. It will be 4 on 4 for 22 seconds before the Bruins go on the power play.
First Period, 13:12, Sabres 1-0: The intensity just picked up at the Garden, with Milan Lucic blocking a Vanek shot at the point and nearly breaking in alone. But Miller came out of his net and beat him to the puck.
Lucic then leveled Miller, knocking his mask off and drawing a charging penalty. Miller swung his stick at Lucic from the ice, but did not connect and was not penalized. Andrej Sekera was the closest to Lucic but wanted no part of any retribution, and the linesmen stepped in before any other Sabres could get to him.
First Period, 10:40, Sabres 1-0: Nice play by Zach Hamill defensively, coming back to break up a pass in front of the Boston net after Johnny Boychuk got tripped up in the offensive zone and was caught up ice.
First Period, 8:56, Sabres 1-0: The Bruins can’t convert that chance, as Myers exits the box and the sides are back at even strength.
First Period, 6:56, Sabres 1-0: The Bruins get the first power play of the night as Tyler Myers goes off for tripping.
Tyler Seguin nearly tied it just before the penalty, but hit the post on a backhander from in front.
First Period, 5:38, Sabres 1-0: The Sabres strike first with a strange one by Thomas Vanek.
Vanek fired in a shot from the right wing, then collected his own rebound behind the net and banked it in from behind the goal line off Thomas.
First Period, 2:27, 0-0: No fireworks off the draw with the tough guys out there, and the Sabres have had the better of the play in the opening minutes with several chances on Thomas early.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: After a touching puck drop ceremony in which Daron and Lori Jacobs of Pembroke, Mass. were surprised by the return of their son, Lt. Charlie Jacobs, from Afghanistan, this one is under way at the Garden.
7 p.m.: Some interesting starting combos for this one, with Shawn Thornton moving up with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley to start up front, with Adam McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg on defense and Tim Thomas in goal.
The Sabres also shake up their regular combos to move tough guy Cody McCormick up with Nathan Gerbe and Paul Gaustad, with Christian Ehrhoff and Marc-Andre Gragnani on the blue line and Ryan Miller in net.
6:55 p.m.: The Bruins have officially scratched Benoit Pouliot along with Andrew Ference and Daniel Paille. Rich Peverley is in the lineup, while Zach Hamill also stays in.
The Sabres have scratched Mike Weber and Tyler Ennis.
6:45 p.m.: From the line rushes, it appears Rich Peverley and Zach Hamill will both be in, as they skated together with Chris Kelly.
Jordan Caron was on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. Benoit Pouliot was on the ice, but did not participate in the line rushes and appears to be the scratch.
Here are the full line combinations from warm-ups:
6:35 p.m.: Both Rich Peverley and Zach Hamill are on the ice for warm-ups. Have to see the line rushes to see who will be the odd man odd.
After how Hamill played on Thursday, it’s possible both could play with either Jordan Caron or Benoit Pouliot taking a seat.
6:30 p.m.: It will be a matchup of 2010 U.S. Olympic goalies at the Garden. Tim Thomas and Ryan Miller lead the clubs onto the ice for warm-ups. That will be the goalie matchup for this Northeast Division showdown between the Bruins and Sabres.
6 p.m.: The Bruins and Sabres will clash in just about an hour, with both teams bringing four-game win streaks into the contest.
Rich Peverley will be a game-time decision, while Daniel Paille and Andrew Ference are definitely out. Benoit Pouliot will remain in Paille’s spot on the fourth line and Steven Kampfer returns to the lineup to replace Ference.
If Peverley can’t go, Zach Hamill will remain in the lineup.
8 a.m. ET: The Bruins will try to extend their win streak to five games and move over .500 for the first time this season in a Northeast Division clash with the Sabres on Saturday night.
But it won’t be easy, as they’ll face a Buffalo club on a four-game win streak of its own. The Sabres (10-5-0, 20 points) will be playing the back end of back-to-back games after beating Ottawa 5-1 on Friday. Jhonas Enroth stopped 36 of the 37 shots he faced in that game and is now 5-0-0 on the season with a 1.34 GAA and .956 save percentage.
He has dramatically outplayed No. 1 netminder Ryan Miller (5-5-0, 2.74 GAA, .913 save percentage), with Miller struggling mightily of late. Miller has allowed 15 goals in his last four appearances, including three goals in just six minutes against Philadelphia. But Miller is 20-5-7 with a 2.62 GAA all-time against the Bruins, while Enroth is 0-2-0 with a 5.36 GAA against Boston and may need a break after playing Friday night.
The Bruins (7-7-0, 14 points) will also have to contend with forwards Derek Roy and Drew Stafford. Roy has 4-4-8 totals in his last four games, while Stafford had three assists on Friday. Boston doesn’t want to see Stafford heating up, as he torched the Bruins for seven goals in four games last year, notching a pair of hat tricks against Boston.
The Sabres are expected to be without forwards Tyler Ennis (ankle) and Jochen Hecht (concussion), but agitator Patrick Kaleta will be eligible to return after serving a four-game suspension for head-butting.
The Bruins will be without Daniel Paille, who remains sidelined after undergoing surgery on his fractured nose on Wednesday, and Andrew Ference, who suffered a lower-body injury in Thursday’s win over Edmonton. Steven Kampfer will replace Ference after sitting out the last six games as a healthy scratch, while Zach Hamill will remain in up front unless Rich Peverley is able to play. Peverley has missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury, but has resumed practicing.
After Tuukka Rask earned his first two wins of the season with his first back-to-back starts of the year this week, Tim Thomas is expected to be back between the pipes for the Bruins.
The puck drops at 7 p.m., so check back here for updates on all the action from the Garden.