BOSTON — The Bruins certainly have been busy this week.
Saturday’s 2-1 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres was Boston’s third consecutive game in which the score was tied at the end of regulation. That included both ends of a home-and-home with the Sabres, which the Bruins swept to take the season series against their Atlantic Division foes three games to one.
“I think if anything, it helps us,” said winger Brad Marchand, who scored the game-winning goal on a penalty shot in overtime. “The one-goal games are more of a playoff style and playoff feel, so if we can learn how to win games like that now, it?s only going to help us going down the road and that?s the kind of hockey we want to play. We want to be in those 2-1 games, 3-2 games, not the blowout games. That?s not our style, and we take pride in low-scoring games.”
Next up for the B’s is one of the more highly anticipated dates on their regular-season schedule: a Tuesday night meeting with the Los Angeles Kings that will feature ex-Bruins winger Milan Lucic’s first trip back to Boston since his move to the West Coast this past summer.
But first, some notes from Saturday night:
— David Pastrnak enjoyed a very strong game for the Bruins, assisting on Loui Eriksson’s first-period goal and narrowly missing a goal of his own when he rang a shot off the crossbar in the third. The 19-year-old winger also was highly active on the forecheck and — in a departure from coach Claude Julien’s strategy in some previous games — was on the ice in crunch-time situations.
“There?s nights where he?s really good,” Julien said, “and I thought (Saturday night) was a game where he was really good, and I felt very confident in putting him late in a game. It?s part of the development of a young guy. When he?s capable, you let him do it, and when he?s not having maybe the best night in that area, you think of the team first and you work that way. It?s worked well for (Ryan) Spooner, and we?re hoping it?s going to work well for Pastrnak.”
— Julien also complimented the play of defenseman Joe Morrow, who returned to the lineup after watching the previous four games as a healthy scratch.
“(Morrow was) good (Saturday night),” the coach said. “I think with Morrow, every time he?s come in our lineup. he?s played really well. So for me, it was almost like I felt very confident that he was going to play well because he?s always done that. Now it?s (time) to build some consistency. If he gives us those kinds of games every night, it?s pretty hard to keep him out.”
— We came close to seeing one of the bigger fight mismatches in NHL history when 5-foot-7 Sabres captain Brian Gionta and 6-foot-9 Bruins captain Zdeno Chara began mixing it up after the whistle late in the second period.
The exchange ended up featuring no more than a few hard shoves, though. Gionta and Chara were given cross-checking and roughing minors, respectively.
— The Bruins on Friday assigned struggling center Joonas Kemppainen to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Providence. Julien explained the roster move during his Saturday morning meeting with the media.
?You don?t need waivers for Joonas (to go down), so it was an opportunity for him to go there and play a few games,? Julien told reporters at morning skate. ?… I think he just needs to get some confidence there offensively because his numbers have been good in the past. So, just give him a chance to go out there and play and maybe help himself out that way and get some confidence. Other than that, we?ve appreciated his consistency on faceoffs and his defensive play. And his penalty-killing has been extremely good.”
Kemppainen, who made his P-Bruins debut Friday night against Albany, has one goal and two assists in 35 games for the Bruins this season, his first in the NHL after making the leap from the Swedish Elite League.
— The Buffalo News on Friday published an interesting feature on “The Future of Sports,” a report commissioned by Delaware North (the Buffalo-based company that owns the Bruins) that examines how technological advancements over the next 25 years will change, well, the future of sports.
?This got way beyond what I expected it to do,? Bruins owner and Delaware North chairman Jeremy Jacobs told the newspaper. ?The whole idea was supposed to be space age. It was supposed to be out there a little further. It provokes your intellect. We like where it?s positioned.?
You can read the report, which covers everything from stadium upgrades to new methods of ticketing to genetically enhanced athletes, in its entirety here.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USATODAY Sports Images