Postgame analysis, Bruins win 4-2: There was a feeling of relief all all-around in the Bruins dressing room after the Bruins snapped a three-game skid and also broke their 0-for-20 streak of power play futility in a 4-2 win tonight.
Two very relieved players were captain Zdeno Chara who scored his first goal of the season and Marco Sturm who scored his first in twelve games. Apparently Marc Savard predicted before the game that Chara would get his first tonight.
"He is good at that and I'm glad he was right tonight," Chara said.
Sturm was all smiles as well.
"Feels great, I don't ever want to go through that again," he said.
Steve Begin continued to be one of, if not the most pleasant surprises with two assists tonight. Begin was rewarded for his solid play and consistent effort with the A on his jersey before the game. Claude Julien rotates the third A (Patrice Bergeron wears the other) every 15 games.
Tuukka Rask had his shutout streak of 114:41 snapped by a Derek Roy second period goal tonight but the newly signed rookie goaltender was solid again with 28 saves and improved to 3-1-1. Rask didn't seem to care about losing his shutout streak and was just happy to see his team be rewarded for a great effort finally.
"It was a solid 60-minute effort and I feel like our guys were really good today," Rask said. "I think the start was good for us to get a 2-0 lead there in the first period. That was the key because if you just keep pounding the puck at net and nothing goes in, it's frustrating. But today we got two goals ahead and that really helped us."
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton who gave his team plenty of energy winning two bouts (one with former teammate Steve Montador), thought the last two games were leading to a night like this for his team.
"The last couple of games actually I think we have been doing a better job of being a little more relaxed," Thornton said. "Even against Montreal, I mean the puck didn't go in the net but the guys did a good job of creating chances. I think hopefully tonight, like I said the monkey is off our back now and we can continue to play the same way that we've been playing for the last little bit and bury chances."
The defending Stanley Cup champions are in town Tuesday as the Penguins pay their first of two visits to TD Garden but for now the Bruins can enjoy their first victory in three games and shed their frustration. Thanks for joining us here on our Live Bruins Blog at NESN.com and be sure to come back for the Penguins-Bruins on Tuesday at 7 pm. Goodnight!
End of game, Bruins win 4-2: Been a week since the Bruins heard "Dirty Water" blaring here at TD Garden, but The Standells are on and the three-game losing streak is over.
The 0-for-20 streak on the power play is over as well as the Bruins went 2-for-3. The penalty kill was perfect as well going 8-for-8. An all-around great effort by the Bruins tonight in a 4-2 win. Headed down for postgame quotes, but we'll be back with analysis soon.
Third period, :34, Bruins 4-2: Buffalo has called a timeout here as they try to get two late goals and tie the game.
Third period, 1:48, Bruins 4-2: Jason Pominville just pulled the Sabres to within one goal and the Sabres have pulled their goalie.
Third period, 2:50, Bruins 4-1: Make that 7-for-7 for the Bruins penalty kill tonight. Amazing!
On a night when the power play finally clicked, the PK units said "Don't forget about us," and how can you as they have been a bright spot through the Bruins' recent slump.
We need to give mad props to Shawn Thornton who won two fights tonight and really stepped it up. The Bruins fed off them for sure and Thornton did his job well.
As I write this Mark Stuart just pummeled Jochen Hecht.
Third period, 6:00, Bruins 4-1: Shawn "The Quiet Man" Thornton has just won his second bout of the night, this time over Paul Gaustad. Thornton gets the extra two for roughing.
The Bruins have also killed off another Buffalo power play and the penalty kill is now 6-for-6. They have killed off 25 of the last 26 power plays they have faced.
Third period, 9:10, Bruins 4-1: Patrice Bergeron just broke in on a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Marco Sturm but was denied by Johnas Enroth.
Brad Marchand is in the box again, this time for holding.
Third period, 9:51, Bruins 4-1: Hard not to notice the increased physical presence of the Bruins up front tonight and the improved fore-checking game.
Amazing how a good fore-checking game can create chances. The Bruins have the right type of system for that as well.
Third period, 13:54, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins penalty kill has been great. As we mentioned Daniel Paille is a major reason but as a whole, they just suffocate the opponent and seem to rattle them a bit.
Third period, 15:09, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins just killed off another Buffalo power play and the Sabres are now 0-for-5.
Third period, 17:18, Bruins 4-1: The Sabres are on their fifth power play with Brad Marchand in the sin-bin for high-sticking.
Third period, 19:41, Bruins 4-1: Underway in the third period here in front of another sold-out TD Garden.
Second intermission, Bruins 4-1: Just want to note that Steve Begin had the secondary assist on that Marco Sturm goal, as well as the primary on the Byron Bitz goal. Shawn Thornton got the secondary assist on the Bitz goal.
So while I criticized him below, I am happy for Sturm. He is always one of the easiest Bruins to deal with and very friendly. If he can get going with Patrice Bergeron as he has in the past, that could be huge for the Bruins. Bergeron is already going, he just needed a sniper to feed the puck to.
End of second period, Bruins 4-1: That could prove to be a big insurance goal for the Bruins as Tuukka Rask has been solid again in net with 16 saves so far.
Have to point out the continued excellence of Patrice Bergeron as well. He is really stepping up in Marc Savard's absence.
Second period, 1:29, Bruins 4-1: I swear the Bruins are reading this on the bench! Marco Sturm just redeemed himself and nailed a one-timer feed from Patrice Bergeron to give the Bruins a 4-1 lead.
That is Sturm's third of the season and breaks his longest goal-less streak of his career at twelve.
Second period, 5:34, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins have killed off another Buffalo power play and are now 4-for-4 on the penalty kill tonight.
They also had two good chances to score a shorthanded goal. That is four chances now that the penalty kill unit has had tonight as they are becoming one of the more dangerous in the league. Daniel Paille can really read the plays and has a strong instinct out there.
Second period, 8:42, Bruins 3-1: Marco Sturm is in the box for boarding and the Sabres are on their fourth power play. They are 0-for-3.
That is the third straight game this that Sturm has taken a penalty in the offensive zone. I understand he is frustrated going twelve games without a goal but no need for a lazy penalty like that.
Second period, 8:51, Bruins 3-1: The Sabres killed off that last power play and the Bruins are now 2-for-3.
Hard not to notice that there is maybe two scouts at best over on "Scouts' Row" here in the Press Box. Did the scouts not have this one on their calendar?
Second period, 13:40, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins are going on their third power play of the game after Buffalo took a bench minor for too many men on the ice.
The Bruins are 2-for-2 so far and have really looked like a different team on the power play. Let's see if they can keep it up.
Second period, 17:13, Bruins 3-1: Derek Roy just cut the Bruins' lead to two with his third goal of the season.
In my Northeast Notes for NHL.com this past week, I mentioned that Roy had yet to score a goal this season. Ooops!
By the way, Phil Kessel just scored his first goal as a Leaf to give Toronto a 2-0 lead over Detroit.
Second period, 18:38, Bruins 3-0: Byron Bitz just padded the Bruins' lead with his second goal of the season. Bitz doing what he has the potential to do on that one, using his size to plow through the defense and light the lamp.
By the way, there was a Chewbacca sighting here at the TD Garden as the Star Wars character was riding the Zamboni.
End of first period, Bruins 2-0: Well, the Bruins finally found their power play with two goals on the man advantage this period. Zdeno Chara also got his first goal of the season and Mark Recchi did what he does best, tipped in a shot from the point for his third of the season.
It all amounts to a 2-0 Bruins lead but more importantly, confidence on the man-advantage. For those who doubted Recchi, recently saying he "should hang them up", we forgive you. You just don't know the power of the "Wrecking Ball" and that it still exists!
First period,3:29, Bruins 2-0: Folks, the Bruins power play appears to be back as they are now 2-for-2. Captain Zdeno Chara just got his second point of the night and first goal of the season to give his team a 2-0 lead here. Blake Wheeler had the assist.
Holliston native Mike Grier was in the box for Buffalo on a tripping call.
First period, 5:31, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins have come out with a physical presence tonight and Shawn Thornton just pummeled former teammate Steve Montador in the first fight of the evening.
Thornton got in some good shots at the end and Montador has to be hurting.
First period, 5:33, Bruins 1-0: Boston's penalty killing continues to excel as they killed off 40 seconds of a 5-on-3 and then Dennis Wideman's holding penalty. They are now 3-for-3 on penalty kills.
Daniel Paille is all over the place against his former team and had a short-handed bid on the kill.
First period, 8:16, Bruins 1-0: The Sabres will be on a 5-on-3 for 40 seconds as Dennis Wideman just continued a parade of Bruins players to the sin-bin with a holding infraction.
First period, 9:36, Bruins 1-0: Buffalo is going on their second power play here as Daniel Paille was just called for goalie interference.
By the way, kudos to Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart for buying $5,000 worth of tickets for local servicemen and women and their families for Thursday's game against the Panthers.
First period, 12:22, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins killed off the Sabres' first power play and Buffalo is now 0-for-1 on the power play while the Bruins are 1-for-1.
First period, 14:36, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins just got a penalty for too many men on the ice. Maybe they were simply in shock they scored a power-play goal.
First period, 16:43, Bruins 1-0: Did that just happen? The Bruins scored a power-play goal! Mark Recchi tipped in a shot from point man Derek Morris with Zdeno Chara getting the other helper.
That is the first power-play goal for the Bruins since October 22 at Philadelphia. Maybe now the floodgates will open.
First period, 17:16: Underway here in the first period. Some good back and forth action to start the game and the Bruins are going on their first power play with Paul Gaustad in the box for the Sabres. Let's see if the PP can get going here.
7:05: We're ready for action here at TD Garden as the Bruins are set to face the first place Sabres in another big test for this goal-starved team. Here's the Bruins lineup for tonight with starters in bold. Also, Tuukka Rask is in net for Boston.
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Blake Wheeler–Vladimir Sobotka–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Trent Whitfield–Brad Marchand
Shawn Thornton–Steve Begin–Byron Bitz
Zdeno Chara–Derek Morris
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart–Andrew Ference
6:00 p.m.: The Bruins have scored just one goal in three games, and it's no surprise they have lost all three games.
After losing to the Rangers, Red Wings and Canadiens, things won't get any easier on Saturday night for the Bruins against the Sabres.
The Sabres are sitting pretty atop the Northeast division and will make a good test for the Black and Gold.