Final, Bruins 2-0: That’s it and that’s all. The Bruins, who looked lethargic for most of the night, somehow dig themselves out of a hole and score two goals in the third for the 2-0 win.
There’s still plenty of room for improvement, but for a team that was reeling like Boston through two periods in this game, you’ll take the two points for sure.
The first line was obviously the club’s most effective line in this game, which is a good sign, especially after they scored the B’s lone goal Saturday. If they can get going, it will help things fall in place.
Last but certainly not least, Anton Khudobin was phenomenal. He stopped all 26 shots for the shutout, and those saves he made in the first period kept the Bruins from falling in an early hole, and that set the stage for the B’s to win it in the third.
Third period, 18:40, Bruins 2-0: The Buffalo net is empty, as they pull Ryan Miller for the extra skater.
The Sabres just used their timeout as well.
Third period, 15:45, Bruins 2-0: The David Krejci line looks like it is starting to come alive, and the Bruins now lead by a pair thanks to that trio.
Krejci just tossed a beautiful backhanded pass into the slot from the left wing that Nathan Horton easily bangs home to give Boston a 2-0 lead late in the third.
Third period, 12:54, Bruins 1-0: Finally, as the Bruins start to do some good things offensively, it pays off.
David Krejci sets up in the middle of the crease, and he not only gets traffic in front, but he cleans up a rebound. The center banged the second-chance opportunity for a Bruins goal.
Third period, 10:40, 0-0: The Bruins have seemed to get something of a jump out of that aforementioned shift from the Patrice Bergeron line.
In the four minutes or so since, they have started to tilt the ice. They’re establishing possession in the offensive end, and they’re making better passes and moving well without the puck. These are the types of things that have been missing as of late, so that’s encouraging.
However, they haven’t done anything with that up to this point, and they’re still trying to find a way to break through.
Third period, 6:52, 0-0: If you’re a Bruins fan, you’re looking for anything to feel good about right now, and maybe the last B’s shift will do that for you.
The Patrice Bergeron line just showed some good transitional play taking a long rebound up the ice and establishing some possession in the Buffalo end. Zdeno Chara did a nice job of pinching down to keep the puck in the Sabres’ zone, before cycling it back out to the point. Bergeron cycled to the top of the zone before pushing the puck to Dougie Hamilton who crept down the right wing and put a big shot on goal from the right side, but he put it right in the chest of Ryan Miller, who covered up for the faceoff.
Third period, 0:27, 0-0: The third period is under way in this scoreless tie.
Second period reaction: We’ve harped on the negatives for the last few games, so let’s start with the positives.
Anton Khudobin has been arguably the best player on the ice for either team in this one. That might not be saying a whole lot in a scoreless game, but the Boston backup has been pretty sensational. He’s stopped all 19 shots he’s seen, including a handful that came on same darn good scoring chances for Buffalo. Khudobin has done a great job of moving laterally, and a couple of his best saves came from him moving side to side and extending his legs for saves.
But that’s been about it for positives on the Bruins’ side. They have 20 shots, but it’s the same old song and dance. There haven’t been a ton of chances, although the first line has had a couple of good looks in each period. Once again, however, there hasn’t been much else from any of the lines, which just speaks to Claude Julien’s complaints as of late.
The penalty kill has been pretty good so far, but that’s helped a lot by a Buffalo power play that isn’t anything to write home about. Boston is still looking for its first power play of the evening, but they aren’t doing enough to get any calls, either.
End second period, 0-0: The Boston first line continues to create chances, but they continue to fail to cash in on those.
After 40 minutes, we’re still marred in a scoreless tie.
Second period, 14:05, 0-0: This game is still tied 0-0. The only reason is Anton Khudobin. He’s been fantastic, and he’s the only one who’s done anything resembling something positive.
Meanwhile, Nathan Horton is going back to the penalty box, this time for slashing.
Second period, 10:00, 0-0: The second Sabres power play of the period is once again killed off by the Bruins, but it wasn’t easy.
The Sabres peppered Anton Khudobin, who made a couple of big saves moving from post to post on more than one occasion, and coming up with another big leg save.
Second period, 7:27, 0-0: The good news is that the Bruins killed off the too man men on the ice penalty. The bad news is that they’re going right back on the penalty kill.
Nathan Horton was called for hooking just 27 seconds after the bench minor expired, and the Boston PK must go back to work.
Second period, 5:00, 0-0: The fun continues for the Bruins. The B’s were just caught in a poor change, and they were left with too many men on the ice.
That means Buffalo is about to go back on the power play.
Second period, 0:40, 0-0: The second period is under way in Buffalo.
First period reaction: Another period of just not enough everything from the Bruins. If that sentence doesn’t make sense, that’s pretty much what it’s like to watch the B’s right now.
They’re all sorts of disjointed, and they’re not cashing in on the few opportunities they’ve earned. The Bruins may be outshooting the Sabres, but they haven’t had many real good scoring chances. The couple of good chances they’ve got — one from Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic apiece — they haven’t been able to bury. But that’s become something of a repeated refrain as of late for Boston.
The one thing you can control, though, is physical play and maximum effort. It doesn’t look like they’ve had much of any of that. They’ve been outhit 12-6 in the first period. That’s what’s been most disheartening. Bad bounces and missed opportunities are things that are going to happen. It’s part of the game. But it’s becoming inexcusable to not do much of any of the little things that help you win hockey games. When you start doing those things, the bounces start going your way.
End first period, 0-0: Make it seven consecutive games without a first-period goal from the Bruins.
They came close in the final minute, as Milan Lucic had a chance to tip home a rebound, but he couldn’t settle the puck.
They were outplayed for much of the first period, but thanks to a little luck and a couple of big saves from Anton Khudobin, the Bruins and Sabres are scoreless after one.
First period, 16:59, 0-0: Wow, this must be some sort of record.
We’ve seen two embellishment penalties called in one period. This one goes to Tyler Seguin who apparently helped along a Christian Erhoff hold.
For the record, I don’t think either Seguin nor Steve Ott really embellished on either.
First period, 12:01, 0-0: Zdeno Chara just went to the penalty box for boarding, but he wasn’t the only player heading to the box.
Chara cross-checked Steve Ott from behind right behind the Bruins’ net. Ott went flying into the boards, and apparently he flew a little too hard. He was called for embellishment. However, Ott left the ice and went down the tunnel with an apparent injury, and Patrick Kaleta will serve Buffalo’s side of the 4-on-4.
First period, 11:32, 0-0: The Sabres should be winning by now, but the question is by how much.
Buffalo got a little unlucky with some weird bounces on a couple of early scoring chances, and now they can blame Anton Khudobin as the reason this game is scoreless.
The Bruins goalie just made an incredible save on Tyler Ennis who tried to finish off a 2-on-1 by going backhand to forehand, but Khudobin somehow extended his right leg far enough to the post to keep the puck out and keep the game scoreless.
First period, 9:06, 0-0: It was a forgettable start for the Bruins, but they have started to bounce back a little bit here midway through the first period.
The Patrice Bergeron line (who else?) turned in a good shift before the current TV timeout that included some good net-front traffic as well as winning of puck battles. Both Tyler Seguin and Dennis Seidenberg won puck battles in the corners along the board to prolong the possession in the Buffalo end. The Bruins need more of that.
They got a terrific scoring chance a few minutes ago as well, before the penalty kill. David Krejci found Nathan Horton striding down the right wing, but Ryan Miller came out of his crease, cut off the angle and gloved Horton’s wrist shot.
First period, 7:08, 0-0: The Sabres aren’t able to get anything on the power play, as the Bruins’ penalty kill did a solid job of bottling Buffalo up. The Sabres were unable to get a shot on goal during the man-advantage.
First period, 5:08, 0-0: The Bruins are given the first penalty of the game after Matt Bartkowski was called for a cross-checking.
They’ve looked pretty flat so far, so this isn’t what the Bruins need right now in the early going.
First period, 0:01, 0-0: The game is under way, as the Bruins look for a bounce-back effort against Buffalo.
7:23 p.m.: Only one lineup change for the Bruins for this one. Matt Bartkowski is back in the lineup after being scratched the last two games. He’ll replace Aaron Johnson, as the veteran blue liner will take a seat in the press box for this game.
7:20 p.m.: Ryan Miller has been pretty good against the Bruins this season. He’s posted a 2-1-0 record with a 2.68 goals against average. He’s stopped 63 of the 69 shots he’s faced. He’s probably not the guy the Bruins want to see in the midst of a pretty brutal offensive stretch.
Anton Khudobin is making his third start of the season against Buffalo. He’s got a 1-1 record so far with a 2.54 goals against and a .904 save percentage, having stopped 47 of 52 shots in the two games.
7:07 p.m.: A couple of things from the pregame notes and what not.
Per the Sabres, Ryan Miller is making his 491st start for the Sabres in this one. In the process, he’ll tie Buffalo legend Dominik Hasek for the most in franchise history. Miller has actually outpaced Hasek so far in his Sabres career, with a .606 winning percentage to Hasek’s .565 with the Sabres.
The Bruins were a dominant road team earlier in the season, jumping out to a 9-1-2 record away from TD Garden, their best 12-game road start in club history. Since then, however, they’ve struggled on the road. They’re just 1-5-0 in their last six games following an ugly loss in Philadelphia on Sunday.
7 p.m.: The Bruins and Sabres just took the ice for pregame warmups, and we now know the starting goaltender matchup.
Anton Khudobin will get the start for the Bruins, while Ryan Miller will be between the pipes for the Sabres.
8 a.m. ET: The Bruins are not in a good way right now, and they don’t have much time to stew over their latest letdown.
The B’s came out flat Saturday afternoon, and they paid for it in a big way against the Philadelphia Flyers. Despite playing one of the league’s worst team on two days’ rest, the Bruins were simply awful. They came out flat and lethargic, and that followed them all afternoon.
They don’t have a long time to feel sorry for themselves, though. They’re right back at it Sunday night in Buffalo against a Sabres team that despite its place in the standings, has had its way with the Bruins this year. Buffalo has won two of the three meetings between the Northeast Division rivals this season.
If the Bruins are going to turn things around, they would be wise to do so in the early going. Boston comes in having not scored in the first period in their last six games, which also helps explain why they have fallen behind 2-0 in their last four games.
Puck drop in Buffalo is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.