Final, Sabres 4-2: This is a game we pretty much all expected the Bruins to win, but they couldn’t convert their chances, gave up a couple of tough goals late and they end up with one of their most disappointing losses of the season.
Third period, 19:27, Sabres 4-2: The Bruins just used their timeout ahead of an offensive zone faceoff.
Third period, 2:00, Sabres 4-2: The Bruins have pulled Chad Johnson in favor of the extra skater.
Third period, 15:39, Sabres 4-2: And now it’s real bad news for the Bruins.
The first line, which had been so dominant this period for Boston, just coughed one up. They turned it over at the Buffalo blue line, and the Sabres made them pay. Tyler Myers jumped into the rush as the Sabres entered the zone, and he beat Chad Johnson with a wicked wrist shot from the right slot.
Third period, 14:19, Sabres 3-2: And there it is.
Drew Stafford just carried the puck all the way into the Bruins zone down the right wing and went tight around the net for the wraparound chance. He came back around to Chad Johnson’s right and was able to sneak the puck inside the post before Johnson could get back to the right post.
So here we are in the final minutes of the third period with the Bruins trailing 3-2.
Third period, 13:00, 2-2: This is starting to look like the second period, with the obvious difference being that the Bruins haven’t scored two goals like they did to begin the second period.
The point being, of course, that despite the fact that they are outplaying Buffalo right now, the Bruins can’t afford to take their foot off the gas. That’s especially true given the fact they haven’t scored in the period.
Third period, 10:00, 2-2: The Bruins’ first line is getting a ton of chances, but they haven’t been able to convert in this one.
Jarome Iginla started the most recent scoring chance when he just wildly threw one at net from the left wing. Ryan Miller stopped it (or it may have hit the side of the post), and the rebound went straight to Milan Lucic. He couldn’t quite lift the puck over Miller who appeared to make the initial save before the puck also hit a post or the cross bar. The B’s came that close to taking the lead here in the third.
Third period, 6:30, 2-2: Brad Marchand is getting chances, that’s for sure.
He just had a chance to add his third goal of the game on a shot in the slot, but Ryan Miller was able make a right shoulder save on a shot that was destined for the corner.
Third period, 5:00, 2-2: The Bruins were able to kill off the penalty to Patrice Bergeron.
The kill was helped in large part by a Ryan Spooner blocked shot. The young center threw himself at a slap shot from the point that left the rookie in a good bit of pain. He looks like he’ll be OK, though.
Third period, 2:33, 2-2: The Sabres are going to get a power play in the opening minutes of the third.
Patrice Bergeron was just called for hooking, and Buffalo gets the man-advantage.
Third period, 0:01, 2-2: The third period is underway.
End second period, 2-2: The Bruins’ top line had a strong shift in the final few minutes or so of the third period, but they couldn’t put the puck in the net.
The second period just came to an end with the game tied 2-2.
Second period, 17:11, 2-2: The Bruins have played a great period up to this point, but that was undone some in the final moments of the period.
The Bruins’ fourth line got caught too far up ice, and the Sabres made them pay. Buffalo did a good job of transitioning out of its own zone, and that’s where Jamie McBain joined the rush and put a shot at the goal. The puck hit Nick Foligno in front and ended up in the back of the net to tie the game.
Second period, 13:30, Bruins 2-1: Brad Marchand just had a chance for the hat trick, but Ryan Miller was able to make the save.
Patrice Bergeron carried the puck into the zone and passed it to Reilly Smith on the left wing. Smith threw it across the slot to Marchand who had a chance from about 30 feet away, but he was stopped by Miller, as the puck hit the goalie in the midsection.
Second period, 9:40, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins almost made it 3-1 just a few moments ago.
David Krejci was camped out on the right wing as Milan Lucic came barreling down the slot and Krejci put it on Lucic’s tape. However, he did so a fraction of a second too late, as Lucic was too close to Ryan Miller to do much of anything with the pass.
Second period, 8:37, Bruins 2-1: This is starting to look more and more like we thought it would look like.
The Bruins are all over the Sabres right now, as they are starting to generate more and more chances. Ryan Spooner is acting like quite the pest right now with some impressive play in the attacking zone while using his speed and quickness to wreak havoc on the Sabres.
Boston already has eight shots on goal in the period.
Second period, 3:04, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins killed off the penalty to Milan Lucic, and 14 seconds after that, they took the lead.
Patrice Bergeron found Marchand with a pass to the right wing, and Marchand one-timed it. The puck kind of fluttered a little bit as it looked like Marchand misfired. That ended up being a blessing in disguise as the shot beat Ryan Miller up over the goalie’s right shoulder to give Boston its first lead of the game.
Second period, 1:50, 1-1: There have been two goals scored in this one, and they have both been shorthanded.
Brad Marchand was the beneficiary of a breakaway following after the puck got loose in the and Johnny Boychuk found Marchand. The winger came streaking down the right wing before beating Ryan Miller with a low, quick shot.
We’re all tied 1-1 now.
Second period, 0:50, Sabres 1-0: This isn’t how the Bruins wanted to start the second period.
Milan Lucic just tripped Ville Leino, and Lucic will be going to the penalty box to give Buffalo a power play. It certainly looked like Leino helped that along just a bit.
Second period, 0:01, Sabres 1-0: The second period is underway in Buffalo.
End first period, Sabres 1-0: Well, that was fun.
A fairly tame (boring) first period just came to an end with Buffalo leading 1-0 after 20 minutes.
First period, 19:00, Sabres 1-0: The Bruins’ power play just came to an end with no goals, at least not from the B’s.
First period, 16:27, Sabres 1-0: The Sabres have the lead and inexplicably it comes on a shorthanded goal.
Johnny Boychuk had issues controlling a bouncing puck along the boards, and Brian Flynn ended up taking the puck out of Boychuk’s skates and down the ice. Flynn ended up beating Chad Johnson with a backhanded shot to give the Sabres the game’s first goal.
First period, 15:37, 0-0: The Bruins are getting a power play, thanks in large part to Milan Lucic’s refusal to drop the gloves with Mike Weber.
Both players are getting roughing penalties,but Weber also picked up a holding penalty. After holding Lucic against the boards, Weber tried to get Lucic to drop the gloves, but he the winger wouldn’t. He gets a roughing penalty, but the extra minor for holding gets the B’s the power play.
First period, 14:20, 0-0: And just like that, we’re all back to even strength.
The Sabres had a couple of near scoring chances during the 4-on-3, but Chad Johnson made a couple of big saves before covering up on his back.
First period, 11:52, 0-0: So many penalties.
Tyler Ennis just ended the 5-on-3 opportunity for the Sabres by hooking Zdeno Chara in the Boston end. The Sabres will still be up 4-0n-3 for more than a minute.
First period, 11:36, 0-0: The Sabres are going to get a two-man advantage for the next 1:41.
Patrice Bergeron was just called for hooking, and the B’s will be down two men for almost an entire two minutes.
First period, 11:17, 0-0: The game’s first power play will belong to Buffalo. Torey Krug was just called for holding, and the Sabres will be up a man.
First period, 9:30, 0-0: Jordan Caron just turned the puck over from about 20 feet in front of his own net and lived to tell about it.
Caron was trying to start the puck back up the ice, but he ended up passing it right to a forechecking Matt Ellis. He got turned around a little and ended up putting a backhanded attempt on goal, but Chad Johnson was able to make the save.
First period, 6:04, 0-0: Not a ton going on outside of the fight so far in the first period.
One encouraging note for the Bruins in the opening minutes of this one has been the play of Brad Marchand. He looks pretty engaged so far and has the team’s lone shot on goal. Peter Chiarelli spoke earlier in the day about Marchand and said the forward was starting to look better. That’s been the case through a few shifts so far, but the next step is to start producing of course.
First period, 3:37, 0-0: Matt Fraser and Marcus Foligno are doing their parts to get their teams going, and Foligno certainly has the Buffalo crowd going after the two of them drop the gloves.
Foligno certainly got the better of that one, and that seems to have got the crowd going some.
First period, 0:01, 0-0: It’s game time in Buffalo, and the Sabres and Bruins are underway.
6:55 p.m.: Warmups are just wrapping up in Buffalo where Chad Johnson and Ryan Miller will be the starting lineups for the Bruins and Sabres respectively.
The Bruins are also doing some interesting things with the D-pairings. David Warsofsky is making his NHL debut, and it looks as if he’ll be paired with Johnny Boychuk.
Here are the rest of the club’s projected lines and D-pairings, according to the pregame skate.
Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Reilly Smith
Carl Soderberg — Ryan Spooner — Matt Fraser
Jordan Caron — Gregory Campbell — Nick Johnson
Zdeno Chara — Torey Krug
Dennis Seidenberg — Matt Bartkowski
David Warsofsky — Johnny Boychuk
1:40 p.m.: This might not come as much of a surprise, but it appears as if Chad Johnson will make the start in net for the Bruins against the Sabres.
Johnson would be making his eighth start of the season and his ninth appearance. The backup’s most recent appearance was Saturday in Vancouver. He came in to relieve Tuukka Rask after the starter allowed four goals against the Canucks. Johnson would end up allowing two goals as well, but at that point, the game was just about out of reach anyway.
He’s been terrific as a starter this season, though. Johnson will come in to this start having won his last five starts, and he boasts a 6-1-0 record for the season in addition to a .921 save percentage and a 2.17 goals against average.
8 a.m.: The Bruins are a really good hockey team. The Buffalo Sabres are a really bad hockey team. Their two worlds will collide Thursday night in Buffalo as they begin a home-and-home series that presents a great chance for the B’s to pick up four points by week’s end.
Boston is in Buffalo for the first half of series Thursday night. The two clubs will take Friday off and head back to Boston for a Saturday night tilt at TD Garden.
The Bruins’ trip to Buffalo will be their second of the season, and it marks the second meeting of the two clubs this season. Boston rolled to a 5-2 win over the Sabres on Oct. 23. That game also marked the beginning of concussion issues for Loui Eriksson. He was the victim of a big hit from John Scott late in the game that left the Boston forward concussed. The hit also left Scott without a paycheck for a while, as the league suspended him eight games for the head shot. It will be interesting to see if there’s any sort of carryover from that on Thursday night or even Saturday night.
The Bruins would be smart not to get too involved with all of that, though. First of all, they don’t necessarily have the means to do so. The Bruins are still dealing with a bunch of injuries, and they’re also without enforcer Shawn Thornton, who is currently serving a suspension of his own. The real reason the B’s should stay away from crossing any sort of lines is that these are two games they should win in their sleep really. There are exactly zero teams with fewer points this season than the Sabres, who will come in having lost 10 of 13. Of the Sabres’ eight wins this season, only four of them have come in regulation or overtime, with the other four coming via the shootout.
Despite the injuries, the Bruins are continuing to find ways to win. They have won seven of their last 10 games, which has allowed them to build a three-point lead in the division with two games in hand over second-place Montreal.
Puck drop from Buffalo is set for 7 p.m.