All the talk before Sunday’s game at KeyBank Center was about the Boston Bruins’ addition of Rick Nash, but the good feelings stopped there for the Black and Gold.
The Bruins fell into an early 2-0 hole against the Buffalo Sabres and were unable to dig their way out despite having their new top-six forward suited up.
Boston briefly cut the lead to one in the second period, but the Sabres pushed their advantage back to two and then put the B’s away in the third period, coasting to a 4-1 win.
A year after sweeping the Sabres for the first time ever, the Bruins fell to 1-2-1 against Buffalo this season and lost back-to-back regulation games for the first time since Nov. 11 and 15.
The Bruins fall to 37-15-8 with the loss, while the Sabres improved to 19-33-11.
Here’s how it all went down:
Boston had a few opportunities to take an early lead on the Sabres, but Chad Johnson was able to turn away shots from both David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron in the opening minutes.
When Brad Marchand was sent to the box for slashing at the 12:15 mark, it appeared Buffalo would take the lead. While the B’s penalty kill was able to keep the game scoreless, the Sabres struck almost the second Marchand got out of the box.
Boston was unable to control the puck along the left boards, allowing Victor Antipin to launch a shot at Anton Khudobin. The shot was blocked, but the B’s netminder was unable to control the rebound, and Benoit Pouliot put it home.
Buffalo struck again a few minutes later after Zdeno Chara was sent to the box for hooking. Kyle Okposo sniped one in from the left circle at 16:31 in the period to give Buffalo a 2-0 lead.
BACK IN IT
The Bruins came out with a lot more energy in the second period, and it paid off. At the 3:35 mark in the second period, Charlie McAvoy crashed backdoor, took the feed from David Pastrnak and put home his sixth goal of the season.
Boston’s momentum didn’t last long, though. The Bruins had problems corraling the puck in their own zone, and the disc eventually found Evan Rodrigues who laced one past Khudobin to give Buffalo a 3-1 edge.
The Bruins outshot the Sabres 12-1 after Rodrigues’ goal, but despite 1:52 of consecutive zone time toward the end of the second period, Boston couldn’t cut into the Sabres’ lead.
The Sabres plunged their sword into the Bruins at the 3:22 mark in the third period when Marco Scandella threw a tricky wrister on the net that Khudobin was unable to stop, giving Buffalo a 4-1 lead.
The Bruins will hit the ice again Tuesday when they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to TD Garden. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images