Final, Sabres 5-4: Somehow, the Sabres have won this game.
Loui Eriksson rifled an errant pass out of the Buffalo end, and Matt D’Agostini was the one who beat Zdeno Chara to the puck. D’Agostini walked in and beat Chad Johnson with another soft goal to give the Sabres the win.
Overtime, 0:01, 4-4: Overtime has begun.
End regulation, 4-4: We’re going to overtime.
Third period, 19:08, 4-4: Tie hockey game.
Matt Moulson just jammed home a puck in front of the net as the Sabres scrambled to get the puck at Chad Johnson.
Third period, 18:50, Bruins 4-3: Jhonas Enroth has gone to the bench, and the Sabres have the extra attacker on.
Third period, 16:30, Bruins 4-3: The Bruins have put the clamps on here in the third period.
The Sabres don’t have a shot in the last eight minutes of this period, which usually makes it difficult to score goals.
Third period, 13:30, Bruins 4-3: The second half of the Bruins’ power play for the Matt Moulson double-minor is over, but the B’s have the lead thanks to the Milan Lucic goal on the first half of that power play.
Third period, 10:30, Bruins 4-3: The Bruins have themselves a lead.
The B’s got the Sabres running around in their own end, and the B’s power play made them pay. The puck eventually got out to Milan Lucic who blasted a slap shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Jhonas Enroth as the goalie scrambled in front of his own net.
Third period, 10:11, 3-3: We finally just got a whistle, and it will result in a Bruins power play.
Matt Moulson just got a stick up high to the face of Chris Kelly, and Moulson is being sent off for four minutes as it’s a double-minor.
Third period, 4:00, 3-3: The Patrice Bergeron line has been a lot better as the game has gone on for the Bruins. They obviously got on the board with the Brad Marchand goal, and the winger almost found the back of the net again.
Reilly Smith got the puck to Marchand on the right wing, and Marchand ripped a shot just high and wide of the net, missing the net by inches.
Third period, 0:01, 3-3: The third period is underway.
End second period, 3-3: The second period just came to a combative end. Marcus Foligno and Kevan Miller had some words as the horn sounded, and they even dropped the gloves, but the linesmen jumped in and separated them before they could throw any punches.
Second period, 17:46, 3-3: We’ve got a tie hockey game.
John Scott, who is playing defense in this one, just coughed up the puck and the lead in a big way. Scott had the puck deep in his own end, which is where Reilly Smith picked his pocket. Smith then fed the puck in front to Brad Marchand, and Marchand one-timed it by Jhonas Enroth for the game-tying goal.
Second period, 16:00, Sabres 3-2: The Bruins killed off the penalty with a couple of saves from Chad Johnson.
Second period, 13:54, Sabres 3-2: Jhonas Enrorth just made a ridiculous save.
Milan Lucic fed it across the slot to Loui Eriksson, but Enrorth went post to post to make an incredible sprawling pad save.
Just a few seconds after, Carl Soderberg was called for tripping, and the Bruins will attempt to kill off yet another penalty.
Second period, 11:09, Sabres 3-2: The Boston power play just picked up right where it left off before the break.
Zdeno Chara never quit on a play in front, and he was able to jam a loose puck through Jhonas Enroth to get the Bruins within one. Chara has been an absolute force up front on the power play this season.
Second period, 9:10, Sabres 3-1: The Bruins have now allowed two goals shortly after killing off penalties.
Brian Flynn just beat Chad Johnson with a really soft goal on a soft shot from the slot that Johnson inexplicably missed. The Sabres now have a two-goal lead.
Second period, 9:00, Sabres 2-1: The Bruins killed off the penalty.
Second period, 6:58, Sabres 2-1: The Bruins are going to have to kill another penalty.
This time it’s Milan Lucic for boarding. Lucic got Jamie McBain with a big hit that was deemed illegal. It looked like McBain might have turned just before Lucic hit him which put the Sabres defenseman in a bad position.
Second period, 6:25, Sabres 2-1: The shabby officiating comes back to haunt the Bruins.
A shot went wide of the net and came back to the right wing on a lively bounce off the endboards. Buffalo’s Tyler Myers — the guy Brad Marchand was scuffling with — was there to score the go-ahead goal off the carom.
Second period, 5:26, 1-1: Now the Bruins are going to have to kill off another penalty.
Brad Marchand and Tyler Myers did some pushing and shoving behind the play and there was some stickwork between the two. Somehow, it’s only Marchand who got the penalty, and the B’s are down a man yet again.
Second period, 2:53, 1-1: The Bruins killed the Johnny Boychuk slashing penalty with ease, and the B’s almost scored a shorthanded goal as well.
Chris Kelly got a bit of a breakaway and tried to beat Jhonas Enroth stick side, but the goalie was able to make the pad save to deny the shorthanded chance.
Second period, 0:53, 1-1: The Bruins are going to have to kill off a penalty early in a period yet again.
Johnny Boychuk just slashed Drew Stafford’s stick in half, and Boychuk is off to the penalty box to serve the penalty.
Second period, 0:01, 1-1: The second period is underway in Buffalo.
End first period, 1-1: The first period has come to an end, and we’ve got a tie hockey game.
The Bruins struggled pretty mightily in the first half of the first period, but they seemed to find their legs and their game eventually as they tied the game midway through the first.
The shots on goal were tied 7-7 in the first 20.
First period, 16:16, 1-1: So far, so good for Bruins winger Loui Eriksson. There were some who thought he’d turn a strong showing at the Olympics into some momentum when he got back to Boston, and that’s been the case through almost a full period.
His line has been has been the Bruins’ best so far, and he just made a nice play to leave a little drop pass for Chris Kelly into the Buffalo zone, but Kelly’s shot was stopped.
That line has done a nice job of cycling in the offensive end, and Eriksson appears to be playing with confidence so far.
First period, 10:50, 1-1: The Bruins are starting to find their legs and their hands, and that’s got them on the board.
Chris Kelly just scored to cap off an incredible shift from the Bruins’ third line. Kelly scored from right in front after taking a gorgeous no-look behind-the-back pass from Carl Soderberg who was skating behind the net and below the goal line.
Kelly ripped the shot up over Jhonas Enroth’s right shoulder, and we have a tie game.
First period,7:19, Sabres 1-0: The Bruins weren’t able to do anything on the power play.
The B’s are showing all sorts of rust in the early going, and they’re still looking for their first shot on net in this game.
First period, 5:19 Sabres 1-0: The Bruins are going on the power play.
The B’s get the man-advantage after John Scott just pulled down Chris Kelly in the Buffalo zone. It looked pretty clean, but Scott was called for tripping. The Bruins will take it.
First period, 3:19, Sabres 1-0: The Bruins were able to kill off the penalty, but just seconds after Carl Soderberg stepped out of the box, the Sabres got on the board.
Zemgus Girgensons scored from the slot, as Brian Flynn won a puck battle in the corner and fed Girgensons with a centering pass from the corner. Girgensons quickly put the puck on net, and the shot ended up getting through Chad Johnson to give Buffalo the early lead.
First period, 1:16, 0-0: Not the start the Bruins were looking for.
The B’s were caught in a dreadful change, and they were called for too many men on the ice.
First period, 0:01, 0-0: And we’re off. The game is underway.
7:30 p.m.: Zenon Konopka is indeed out of the lineup for the Sabres, which means John Scott is in.
The Bruins won’t waste any time getting the Olympians out on the ice, either. Patrice Bergeron’s line will start up front, while Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton will be on the Boston blue line.
7:15 p.m.: It’s still not totally clear what the Sabres are going to do with their lineup, but we should know soon enough.
Zenon Konopka had finger surgery over the Olympic break, and he’s a gametime decision. He’ll skate the warmup and make a decision after that, but if he can’t go, John Scott will be in the Buffalo lineup. He won’t take Konopka’s spot up front, though. If Scott does play, it will be as a seventh defenseman, and the Sabres will use 11 forwards up front.
7:05 p.m.: The two teams have taken the ice for pregame warmups, with Chad Johnson leading the Bruins out. He’ll get the start, which is something we already knew.
Jhonas Enroth will go for the Sabres over Ryan Miller. Not much surprise there as Miller started last night against Carolina. It also makes no sense to push Miller and risk getting him hurt as it’s beginning to sound inevitable that he will be dealt before next Wednesday’s deadline.
12:15 p.m.: Bruins coach Claude Julien said Tuesday that Adam McQuaid was probably doubtful for tonight’s game against Buffalo. So it’s not much of a surprise that the defenseman has been ruled out.
McQuaid made the trip and skated with the team at morning skate, but the leg injury he’s recovering from needs a little bit more time apparently. McQuaid has been practicing for more than a week now. That, combined with some fairly enthusiastic optimism from Julien on Tuesday in regard to McQuaid’s health, would seem to indicate he’ll be ready to go very soon. Julien said in Buffalo today that the B’s will likely have a decision to make about him for Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals.
12 p.m.: The 2014 Winter Olympics are over, players are back with their teams, and now it’s time for the stretch run. The Boston Bruins will get theirs started Wednesday in Buffalo.
The B’s will open their post-Olympic slate at First Niagara Center, where they’ll take on the lowly Sabres in Boston’s first game since Feb. 8. The game marks a stretch in which the Bruins will play 25 games between now and April 13.
The Bruins are looking to grow their lead in the Atlantic Division. The B’s restart with a seven-point lead in the division over Tampa Bay, and they have a game in hand over the Lightning. Starting Wednesday, five of the Bruins’ next eight games will be against division opponents, which presents a good chance to increase that lead even more.
Luckily for Boston, one of those games comes against the Sabres, who have the NHL’s worst record. Buffalo did win its first game back on Tuesday against Carolina, but the Sabres have struggled mightily to put together consecutive wins all year. They’ve struggled to put together any wins at any point, really. With a week left until the March 5 trade deadline, every Sabres game is basically a showcase, as just about everyone on the team is reportedly in play if new general manager Tim Murray is given the right deal.
The Bruins will be a little shorthanded on Wednesday night, though. They’ll be without starting goalie Tuukka Rask, as he remained in Boston. The goalie is just back from the Olympics, where he saw the bulk of the goaltending duty while leading Finland to a bronze medal. Chad Johnson will start against Buffalo, and he’ll be backed up by Niklas Svedberg. The Bruins’ other two Olympic medalists — Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson — are in Buffalo and are both expected to play, as are fellow Olympians Zdeno Chara and David Krejci, who returned to America last week.
Bruins coach Claude Julien is also back after serving on Canada’s coaching staff, and the Boston bench boss is feeling refreshed after helping Hockey Canada win another gold medal.
“If anything, to be honest with you, I think the competition that I was involved with was so good and refreshing that I’ve come back here energized,” Julien said after practice Tuesday. “I’m not tired. I’m ready to go here, and I’m looking forward to getting back with my team and getting back into games. Whether it’s different in three or four days, maybe it’s different — I’ll let you know — but right now I feel no effects. If anything, the excitement over there really energized me coming back. I’m looking forward to accomplishing the same thing here with this Bruins team.”
The next step in that journey comes Wednesday where the Bruins and Sabres will drop the puck in Buffalo at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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