Bruins-Sabres Live: B’s Bounce Back, Cruise to Convincing 4-1 Win Over Buffalo

Tuukka RaskFinal, Bruins 3-1: That’s it, and that’s all. The Bruins bounce back from their loss to the Sabres on Thursday night in Buffalo to beat the Sabres here at the Garden.

Third period, 19:39, Bruins 4-1: Reilly Smith just added the empty-net goal to give the Bruins a 4-1 lead.

Third period, 1:30, Bruins 3-1: The Buffalo net is empty.

Third period, 17:38, Bruins 3-1: Tuukka Rask is quietly having a very nice night. He just made another big save, this one a glove save on Matt Moulson.

Third period, 16:30, Bruins 3-1: All of the penalties are over, and we’re back to even strength.

Third period, 15:40, Bruins 3-1: Just now seeing a replay of the Steve Ott “slashing” penalty. It looked as if Zdeno Chara broke his own stick, not Ott. So that would explain the nutty Ott pulled after the play.

Third period, 14:29, Bruins 3-1: And so much for that 5-on-3.

Steve Ott just slashed Zdeno Chara’s stick into two, and Ott will get the slashing penalty. The Sabres still have the 4-on-3 penalty for another 45 seconds or so.

Third period, 13:59, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins are going to have to kill another 5-on-3 penalty, this one at an important time in the game.

Johnny Boychuk was called for holding, and the Bruins are looking at 1:14 of 5-on-3 time to kill off.

Third period, 13:12, Bruins 3-1: Jordan Caron is going to the penalty box, and the Bruins will have to kill off another penalty.

Caron is going to the box for a hit to the head, and Boston’s PK has to go back to work.

Third period, 12:18, Bruins 3-1: Tuukka Rask made another big save a couple of moments ago, this one on Tyler Ennis.

Ennis jumped on a loose puck in the slot and put it on net, but Rask was able to just get a piece of it with his glove and the puck deflected over the net.

Third period, 11:20, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins’ power play just came to an end, and it came to an end without a Boston goal.

Third period, 9:01, Bruins 3-1:  The Bruins are going back on the power play.

Mike Weber was just called for hooking Patrice Bergeron, and the Bruins will look to put the cherry on top with a power-play goal.

Third period, 7:38, Bruins 3-1: Zdeno Chara just got really mad, which is a pretty scary proposition for whoever is on the other end of his scorn.

In this case, that person was Steve Ott. Chara lost his helmet in tangling with Ott behind the Bruins net, and they brought that confrontation to the front of the net as well where they exchanged some body punches and cross-checks. Not enough for a penalty for either, though.

Third period, 5:18, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins’ first line is feeling it after a slow start to this game.

Milan Lucic just took a pass from David Krejci in the slot, and the forward kicked it to his forehand. He then quickly snapped a shot by Jhonas Enroth to the goalie’s stick side.

Third period, 3:00, Bruins 2-1: The Sabres came this close to tying the game. Twice.

Rask made a big save on Matt Ellis from in close, and that left a rebound in front for Linus Omark. He put the shot on net, but Rask was able to somehow get his pad out even farther to stop the second-chance opportunity as well.

Third period, 0:01, Bruins 2-1: The third period is underway.

End second period, Bruins 2-1: The second period just came to an end with the Bruins holding the 2-1 lead.

They’re outshooting the Sabres 28-21 after two periods.

Second period, 15:07, Bruins 2-1: We just saw one of the rarest Bruins events — Patrice Bergeron just got in a fight.

Bergeron and Tyler Myers just dropped the gloves for a quick scrap that didn’t feature a ton of punches connected, but it still has the Garden crowd going wild. The two got tangled up between the play and some words were exchanged before the gloves were actually dropped.

That’s Bergeron’s first regular-season fighting major. He’s fought in the playoffs before, though, taking on Josh Gorges in 2009 and Evgeni Malkin last year.

Second period, 13:45, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins were able to kill off the 5-on-3, and they were able to kill off the double minor as well.

The Sabres were able to get three shots on goal during the man-advantage(s), and Ville Leino hit the post with a second-chance in front, but they couldn’t convert.

Second period, 12:00, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins killed off the Patrice Bergeron penalty, but they still have about two minutes left on the Gregory Campbell double minor to kill.

Second period, 9:40, Bruins 2-1: Now the Bruins will have to kill off a 5-on-3 for almost two minutes.

Gregory Campbell just caught Jamie McBain with a high stick, and it’s going to be a double minor. The high stick brought blood and will get Campbell four minutes in the box.

This is a pretty big few minutes .

Second period, 9:28, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins are going to be shorthanded once again.

This time it’s Patrice Bergeron who is going to the box. The Bruins center — one of the team’s best penalty killers — was just called for cross-checking .

Buffalo is 0-for-1 on the power play so far.

Second period, 6:00, Bruins 2-1: David Krejci is starting to turn it on here int he second period.

He just came flying into the zone, and he was almost able to connect with Jarome Iginla, but the play was broken up.

It’s been a rough night for Brad Marchand, though. He’s been a bit shaken up since a collision with Christian Erhoff in the first period that appeared to leave him with some sort of lower-body ailment. He returned to the locker room briefly, but was able to return. Early here in the second period he was again a bit banged up after blocking a shot. Not an easy living to make.

Second period, 1:47, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins’ first line had a rough first period, but they just gave the Bruins the lead here in the secon dperiod.

Jarome Iginla rushed the puck into the attacking zone down the right wing and then passed it back to David Krejci who was following the play. Krejci was able to then fire a shot on goal that beat Jhonas Enroth over the goalie’s glove hand.

Second period, 0:01, 1-1: The second period is underway here at the Garden.

End first period, 1-1: The first period just came to an end, and the late Buffalo goal ensures that the teams will go to the dressing rooms all tied up.

First period, 18:54, 1-1: The Sabres have been thoroughly outplayed in this period, but they just tied the game.

Zemgus Girgensons just scored the game-tying goal after jamming at a puck to Tuukka Rask’s right. The puck was eventually lifted and it hit Rask in the back and then fell over the goal line.

The late-period goals continue to haunt the Bruins.

First period, 16:28, Bruins 1-0: Carl Soderberg just checked in with his latest scoring chance.

The Swedish winger started the play by getting traffic in front of the net. A shot got blocked in front of the net where Soderberg had come back to the play to try and put home the rebound. He fell right in front of the crease, and tried to sweep home a backhanded attempt that Jhonas Enroth closed his pads on before Soderberg could find the five-hole.

First period, 14:56, Bruins 1-0: Carl Soderberg is having a nice night, and he almost found the back of the net.

He came in on the left wing and ripped a wrist shot from the wing, but Jhonas Enroth made a nifty little glove save to keep it a one-goal game.

First period, 14:00, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins were able to kill off the penalty to Ryan Spooner, and the teams are back to even strength.

First period, 11:39, Bruins 1-0: Just two minutes after the Bruins scored on the power play, the Sabres will get their chance to answer on the man-advantage.

Ryan Spooner was just called for hooking, and the Bruins will be shorthanded.

First period, 9:39, Bruins 1-0: The Bruin’ power play has been good as of late, but that’s been thanks in very large part to the first unit. The second unit just got in on the fun, though.

Reilly Smith just scored a power-play goal on a brilliant pass from Carl Sodeberg who brought the puck from the goal line before passing it to Smith on the left wing. He quickly beat Jhonas Enroth to give the B’s the 1-0 lead.

First period, 9:07, 0-0: The Bruins are getting the game’s first power play.

Linus Omark was just called for hooking, and the B’s get the man-advantage.

First period, 6:15, 0-0: The Sabres just had their best chance of the period, thanks in large part to a questionable decision from Dennis Seidenberg to pinch down into the offensive zone.

It might not have been a horrible idea had he executed the ensuing between-the-legs pass. That pass was intercepted, however, and Buffalo had a 3-on-2 going the other way with Jarome Iginla dropping back on defense to fill the spot vacated by Seidenberg.

The end result, luckily for the Bruins, was a save by Tuukka Rask on a wrist shot from Drew Stafford.

First period, 3:03, 0-0: Not a whole lot going on through the first few minutes. 

The Bruins’ second line had a near chance when Brad Marchand made a centering pass from behind the net to Patrice Bergeron in front, but Bergeron had his stick lifted before being able to one-time the pass.

First period, 0:01, 0-0: It’s go time. The game is underway.

7 p.m.: If you’re following the live blog while watching the game on NESN (honestly, it’s the best way to do things), the NESN  broadcast has a special request of you.

They’re asking you, Bruins fans, to do a little producing. You get to choose the play that in-studio analyst Billy Jaffe will break down during the second intermission.

Check out the details below.

6:33 p.m.: The Bruins and Sabres just took the ice for pregame warmups. Unsurprisingly, Tuukka Rask will start for the Bruins, and Jhonas Enroth will get the starting nod for the Sabres.

Enroth is 1-6-3 with a 2.61 goals against average and a .908 save percentage in 11 games played this season. He last played a week ago tonight against Calgary and took a shootout loss. He’s 0-3-2 with a 4.00 goals against and .888 save percentage against the Bruins for his career.

It doesn’t appear that the Bruins are going to change up the lines at all.

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

Johnny Boychuk — Matt Warsofsky

6:25 p.m.: Good evening and welcome into TD Garden where we’re about five minutes from beginning pregame warmups.

There was no morning skate this morning with the Celtics and Wizards playing this afternoon, so Claude Julien just wrapped up his pregame media availability. The Bruins head coach gave a few notable updates on the injury front. According to Julien, defenseman Adam McQuaid is getting close to returning. He’s not quite ready to return to game action for this one, but Julien said McQuaid could be back Monday in Nashville.

The Bruins also got good news regarding Dougie Hamilton (out with a lower-body injury) and Daniel Paille (concussion-like symptoms). Both skated Saturday, and for Hamilton, it was the first time he’s skated since suffering his injury on Dec. 8.

So for once there was some good news in regards to injuries.

2:30 p.m.: There’s no one who could debate the assertion that the Bruins are a better team than the Buffalo Sabres. That didn’t matter much on Thursday night, however, when the lowly Sabres surprised the first-place Bruins.

The Bruins will get their chance to exact some revenge Saturday night when they welcome Buffalo to TD Garden in the second half of a home-and-home between the Atlantic Division rivals. Boston, who dropped a 4-2 loss on Thursday, will be playing its penultimate game before a three-day Christmas break.

Thursday’s game was a rather one-sided affair in favor of the B’s in all aspects other than the final score. The Bruins outshot and out-chanced the Sabres, but Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller was able to make some big saves, which set the table for two third-period goals for the Sabres.

The inability to finish chances, especially in the second and third periods, is what cost the Bruins on Thursday. One player who didn’t really have such problems was Brad Marchand. The Boston winger has been under the microscope lately, as his struggles to produce have coincided with some questionable on-ice behavior. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli reiterated Thursday morning that he wasn’t going to trade Marchand, and that vote of confidence appeared to have a pretty immediate impact on the young forward. However, Marchand has shown an inability to put together consistent efforts this season, which should make Saturday night a pretty important game for him.

It’s likely that Tuukka Rask will be back in net for the Bruins after getting the night off Thursday. The loss ended up falling on the shoulders of backup Chad Johnson who gave up a pair of goals in the third period on the way to losing his first start since Nov. 2. Rask actually doesn’t have the greatest of numbers against the Sabres. If he gets the call, he’ll be looking to improve upon a 4-5-1 career record with a 2.71 goals against average and .914 save percentage against the division rivals.

There was no morning skate because of the Celtics-Wizards game, but puck drop following the TD Garden changeover is slated for 7 p.m.