Make no mistake about it, the Boston Bruins did not play well Sunday night at KeyBank Center.
Other than a five-minute stint at the end of the second period, the B’s were lackluster in a disappointing 4-1 loss to the lowly Buffalo Sabres to close a five-game road trip.
But despite the loss, Sunday was an overall good day for the B’s, as Boston acquired top-six forward Rick Nash in a blockbuster trade with the New York Rangers, and Nash suited up for the B’s on Sunday in Buffalo.
While Nash was unable to find the back of the net in his debut, the veteran forward gave the Bruins quality minutes both in 5-on-5 and on the power play.
After a sluggish first period, Nash rang the post with a blistering shot in the second frame and nearly crammed home a goal during the Bruins’ 1:52 stretch of zone time toward the end of that period. Nash, who played for the first time in a week, felt good about his Bruins debut.
“I felt strong,” Nash said, as seen on NESN’s Bruins postgame coverage. “I took a couple pucks to the net, had a post. I felt pretty good and I felt like my linemates, we kind of clicked, and we spent a lot of time in their zone and hung on to pucks down low.”
Overall Nash’s debut was a success. The veteran forward used his body more in the second period, getting both himself and the puck in front of the net, which is something Bruins fans can expect to see as the season goes on.
Nash also should be able to help a Bruins’ power play that was 0-for-4 against Buffalo and did not score during a five-game road trip that saw the B’s go 2-3. He caused a lot of havoc in front of the net during the Bruins’ second-period onslaught and his physical play surely will yield results in future games.
Here are more notes from Bruins-Sabres:
— The Bruins made another move Sunday when they signed veteran Brian Gionta to a one-year, one-way contract for $700,000.
— Boston was outscored 17-10 during its five-game road trip.
— The Bruins outshot the Sabres 35-24 but were unable to crack goalie Chad Johnson apart from Charlie McAvoy’s sixth goal of the season.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images