Boston Bruins backup goaltender Niklas Svedberg didn’t face many shots in Thursday’s matchup with the Buffalo Sabres, but he made several important saves that helped keep his team in the game and avoid a second consecutive defeat.
Svedberg improved his record to 2-2-0 on the season in Boston’s 3-2 overtime win over the Sabres. He made 13 saves through 61:20 of ice time. It was a nice change of pace after facing 30-plus shots in each of his first three starts.
With the Bruins playing lackluster hockey in the second period, Svedberg made a tremendous stop on a quality scoring chance created by Sabres forward Marcus Foligno. Buffalo was short-handed at the time, and a goal in that situation would have been a momentum crusher for the B’s. Svedberg showed excellent patience and ultimately made a right pad stop as Foligno tried to lift the puck.
Svedberg has allowed the Bruins to give starting netminder Tuukka Rask valuable rest over the first month of the season. Boston played 11 games in October — more than most of the other 29 NHL teams — and it cannot afford to put too much of a burden on Rask this early in the campaign.
Svedberg has given the Bruins a chance to win each game he’s started, and his .949 save percentage and 1.67 goals against average are quite impressive. The 25-year-old Swede has even played well in his two losses, posting a .927 save percentage.
The Bruins’ depth on the blue line is being challenged by injuries to captain Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller, which has put an even greater importance on the team’s goaltending. In order to weather this storm and remain in the playoff race without key defensemen, Svedberg must step up when called upon. So far, he’s proven to be capable of answering the challenge.
— Adam McQuaid scored his first goal of the season in the second period.
— The Sabres entered the game 0-for-32 on the power play. They scored on their second attempt of the night when Drew Stafford beat Svedberg.
— Loui Eriksson scored the 400th point of his career on Brad Marchand’s game-tying goal in the third period.
— Dennis Seidenberg reached the 200-point mark on Marchand’s third-period goal.
— Marchand entered Thursday’s matchup with just one goal scored in his last 23 games dating back to the 2013-14 regular season. He scored twice against the Sabres, including the overtime winner.
The 26-year-old winger finished with three points.
— Milan Lucic engaged in his first fight of the season just 51 seconds into the first period. Buffalo winger Chris Stewart was Lucic’s opponent.
— Dougie Hamilton led the Bruins with a plus-24 Corsi at even strength, proving once again that he’s capable of driving puck possession.
— Overall, the Bruins out shot the Sabres by a wide margin.
— The Bruins were 0-4-0 entering Thursday’s game when trailing first. They’re now 1-5-0.
— Joe Morrow made his NHL debut and David Warsofsky made his season debut Thursday. Both played over 15:00 of ice time versus Buffalo. Matt Bartkowski was a healthy scratch.
Defensemen Time on Ice
Dougie Hamilton: 24:06
Dennis Seidenberg: 22:19
Adam McQuaid: 20:43
David Warsofsky: 18:09
Joe Morrow: 17:51
Zach Trotman: 15:13
— Boston has won three straight road games by a combined score of 11-4.
Photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images
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