Final, Bruins win 2-1: “Dirty Water” is blaring on the loudspeakers here at TD Garden as the Bruins have beaten the Sabres 2-1 and taken a 2-1 series lead. Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winner with 7:03 left in regulation and Tuukka Rask held down the fort the rest of the way for his second career playoff win.
For the second game in a row, the Bruins had to come back, and they are starting to show some promising signs of resilience and determination. They now have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead here in Game 4 on Wednesday before heading back to Buffalo for Game 5 on Friday.
Thanks for joining us here and good night!
Third period, 0:06.4, Bruins 2-1: The Sabres get called for icing and that should put the icing on the cake.
Third period, 0:44.7, Bruins 2-1: Ryan Miller has been pulled for an extra attacker and the Sabres have taken a timeout as Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blares in TD Garden.
Third period, 3:45, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins may have the lead, but this game is far from over. The Sabres just had a splendid chance, but Tuukka Rask was there for the save. Now the Bruins need to calm down and control the tempo for the remainder of the game.
Third period, 7:01, Bruins 2-1: Patrice Bergeron granted our wishes and now “this building is vibrating,” as Jack Edwards said two years ago tonight. Bergeron just took an unbelievable pass from Mark Recchi, who muscled his defender off the puck, beat Ryan Miller and it’s 2-1 Bruins. Dennis Wideman gets his second point of the night with the secondary assist.
Vladimir Sobotka just did the tango with Andrej Sekera as well and “Shipping Up To Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys is rocking the joint.
Third period, 11:13, 1-1: Nonstop action here in the third as the Bruins are once again controlling the tempo. It was just pointed out in the press box that tonight is the second anniversary of the classic Game 6 battle between the Bruins and Habs that the Bruins won 5-4, forcing a decisive Game 7 after being down 3-1 in the series.
They lost Game 7 that year, but maybe they can recapture the magic of that classic and get TD Garden to vibrate.
By the way, yours truly celebrates another anniversary tomorrow. Happy third anniversary to Mrs. Mary Murphy!
Third period, 17:44, 1-1: The Bruins killed off another Buffalo power play and the Sabres are now 0-for-4.
Third period, 19:39, 1-1: The Bruins and Sabres are under way in the third period as the Bruins kill off the remainder of that Andrew Ference penalty.
Second intermission, 1-1: The Bruins have had their chances, that’s for sure, and injured defenseman Dennis Seidenberg just provided his commentary to NESN.com:
“We need to capitalize. We’ve had chances and we’re outplaying them.”
Seidenberg is watching the game in the press box and just like
everyone here, he’s seeing another game where the Bruins just can’t
seem to find the twine and reward all of their hard work. They will have to
find a way soon because this game has all the makings of a tight third period — maybe even overtime. The
Sabres seem to be struggling on their chances, as well, as they are
outshooting the Bruins 21-20 but have only beat Tuukka Rask once. Ryan
Miller has been brilliant as well, stopping 19 of 20 Bruins shots.
End of second period, 1-1: The Bruins and Sabres end the second period the same way they started it, tied at one. This next period could very well be a pivotal one in this series.
Second period, 1:09, 1-1: Just as Marco Sturm’s penalty ends, Andrew Ference gets called for tripping and the Bruins are shorthanded again.
Second period, 3:11, 1-1: Marco Sturm just nullified the Bruins’ second power play, getting called for holding the opponent’s stick.
Second period, 4:54, 1-1: The Bruins fail to score on their first power play but get another chance right away as Andrej Sekera heads to the sin bin.
Vladimir Sobotka made that penalty happen with some great hustle and determination in front of Ryan Miller.
Second period, 7:41, 1-1: The Bruins are headed onto their first power play of the game as Paul Gaustad is in the box for interference.
This game seems to have little room for error and could very well be decided by a power play or mistake, so the Bruins need to get their man advantage going.
Second period, 10:36, 1-1: Milan Lucic is trying to stir things up out there. Throughout the last two days, Lucic has been saying he needs to be more physical and play “his game.” Let’s see if he does that here.
Second period, 13:50, 1-1: Johnny Boychuk just sent Matt Ellis into another world with a thunderous open-ice hit at the Sabres blue line.
That was a good and clean hit by Boychuk, but with what happened with him and Thomas Vanek already in Game 2, he may want to keep his head up moving forward.
Boychuk, trying to prevent Vanek from a breakaway, tried to slow him down with his stick and the Sabres sniper went barreling into the boards, injuring his ankle. He is not playing tonight and his status is unknown for Game 4.
Second period, 18:03, 1-1: The Sabres have the first power play of the game as Milan Lucic is in the sin bin for high-sticking. Buffalo has not scored on the power play in this series.
Second period, 18:56, 1-1: We are under way in what has — to this point — been a great period for the Bruins in the series, the second. Let’s see if they can pour it on in the middle frame the way they have in Games 1 and 2.
First intermission, 1-1: The Bruins are certainly in good shape heading into the second. Their intensity suffered a bit after Mike Grier tallied the first goal of the game, but Boston managed to turn up its game a notch to match that of Buffalo, and it paid off.
Nobody at the Garden is booing Dennis Wideman anymore, after the embattled defenseman came in on a 3-on-2 and rifled a bomb past Ryan Miller to tie the game at one.
The B’s have outshot the Sabres in every game of this series, but so far, Buffalo has a 14-10 edge.
First period, 4:43, 1-1: For the third straight game, the Bruins have come back to tie the game after allowing the first goal. Dennis Wideman, who is rapidly transforming from goat to hero, blasted a beautiful feed from Vladimir Sobotka past Ryan Miller and we have a tie game.
First period, 13:03, Sabres 1-0: After some great back-and-forth hockey, the Sabres have struck first. Former BU star Mike Grier has made it 1-0 Buffalo.
Henrik Tallinder and Raffi Torres had the helpers.
That was playoff goal No. 13 for Grier who also attended St. Sebastian’s in Needham, Mass.
First period, 15:29: Over four minutes into the opening frame and we finally have a stoppage in play as Ryan Miller makes a save on Marco Sturm.
First period, 17:00: We’ve played three minutes here and there’s still no whistle. A very intense atmosphere at TD Garden as the fans are really into it.
7:08 p.m.: The Bruins come onto the ice to Audioslave’s “Cochise” and Rene Rancourt belts out the “Star Spangled Banner.” We’re ready to go!
6:50 p.m.: The Bruins and Sabres have completed their pregame skates and here’s what the lineups should look like:
Milan Lucic–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Marco Sturm–David Krejci–Miroslav Satan
Blake Wheeler–Vladimir Sobotka–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara–Johnny Boychuk
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Andrew Ference–Adam McQuaid
Tim Kennedy–Derek Roy–Jason Pominville
Tyler Ennis–Tim Connolly–Drew Stafford
Raffi Torres–Paul Gaustad–Mike Grier
Adam Mair–Matt Ellis–Patrick Kaleta
Henrik Tallinder–Tyler Myers
Andrej Sekera–Craig Rivet
Toni Lydman–Steve Montador
6:30 p.m.: “Back In Black” by AC/DC is blaring on the loudspeakers here at TD Garden as the Bruins and Sabres have taken to the ice for their pregame skate.
The crowd is still filtering in, but there is a definite feeling of excitement in the air as we get ready for Game 3 with the series tied at one. We’ll have the lineups in a bit.
6:25 p.m.: The Bruins and Sabres are about to take the ice for the pregame skate and some folks in the press box are wondering if this will be another letdown game for the Bruins who have had plenty of such games this season.
We shall see, but there’s no better time than now to make a habit of following up one big win with another. They were able to do that in the final three games of the season, but now, obviously, it is even more important.
4:25 p.m.: Greetings from high above the TD Garden ice in an empty press box that soon will be flooded with media from not only Boston and Buffalo, but reporters from all over this fine continent. The main buzz coming from the lords of the keyboard today, of course, is the fact that the Bruins are back at home after splitting the first two games in Buffalo and that when they return to Buffalo for Game 5 on Friday, they may have the services of star center Marc Savard who skated for the first time earlier Monday since suffering a Grade 2 concussion on March 7.
“I got my neuro-psych test that we have to go through and assuming
I pass that, I’ll be cleared and it’s just a matter of getting back in
shape,” said Savard who skated for 30 minutes this morning. “I
haven’t done anything for six weeks at all, so I felt a little
short-winded out there because of that. It’s going to take some time,
hopefully sooner rather than later, because I’m excited that I’m
feeling good and it’s playoff time.
“Tomorrow’s another big day, I guess,” he added.
We’ll obviously keep you updated on this story as it develops throughout the week.
But back to the game at hand, Game 3 here at TD Garden. The Sabres, as expected, will be without sniper Thomas Vanek (severely sprained ankle) but they will get back forward Drew Stafford who suffered a concussion on April 10 and hasn’t played since. Stafford almost played Saturday in Game 2 but he was deemed not ready at the last minute.
“It was just a matter of making sure and being 100 percent,” he said. “Obviously it went well yesterday and I’m ready to go. It’s definitely
something you want to be back 100 percent with no symptoms before you
get conditioning back. Fortunately I was able to do that in a short
amount of time. I feel pretty good. You can’t simulate game condition
by skating out there, but I believe I did enough to hopefully step in
and make a contribution.”
8:05 a.m.: When the Bruins fell behind 2-0 in Game 2 after the first period, things looked bleak for the Black and Gold. Few had the faith that this team, questioned for its heart all season long, would dig deep and find a way to come back not only once, but twice, as they did en route to a 5-3 win Saturday at HSBC Arena in Buffalo. Now the B’s bring this best-of-seven series back to TD Garden for Game 3 on Monday night (7 p.m. on NESN) tied at one and with the chance to make use of the home-ice advantage they stole away in Game 2.
“Any time you start out on the road, you want to come back [home] with at least a split,” head coach Claude Julien said. “We’ve done that and now it’s our job to maintain that home-ice advantage that we’ve acquired.”
Zdeno Chara led the way in Game 2 with the game-winning goal and another lamp lighter, while the suddenly hot Michael Ryder (four goals in his last three games, including the regular season) chipped in with two of his own. The Bruins are suddenly getting offense not only from their forwards, but from the blue line as well. They will try to keep that momentum going in what they hope is a rocking TD Garden on Patriots’ Day.
“That’s something that we wanted to do, come back [to Boston] tied or ahead,” goalie Tuukka Rask said. “It’s good but we have to keep doing the things that we were doing right to keep home-ice advantage. I hope it’s good. I hope people get really loud out there. We like to play at home, but I don’t want us to get too high on ourselves.”
Stay with us here all day as we’ll update you from TD Garden in our live Bruins blog.