There wasn’t exactly a lack of excitement at TD Garden on Sunday, but the result wasn’t what the home crowd hoped for.
In a back-and-forth affair, it was the Buffalo Sabres beating the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Sunday night in an Atlantic Division tilt.
With less than four minutes to play, Jeff Skinner buried his second goal of the game to give the visitors the win.
Skinner and Jack Eichel had two goals apiece, while Steven Kampfer and Torey Krug provided Boston’s tallies.
Tuukka Rask made 23 saves for the Bruins, while Buffalo netminder Linus Ullmark turned away 35 shots.
The Bruins fall to 17-12-4 with the loss, while the Sabres climb to 20-9-5.
Here’s how it all went down:
The Bruins outshot the Sabres 14-10 in the first period, but they couldn’t cash in on the best opportunity from either team in the opening 20 minutes.
Ryan Donato received a penalty shot after getting hooked on a breakaway. As he made his move left, he went to his knees and Ullmark tracked the puck well, making a pad save to deny the winger.
Neither team could execute on their one power play opportunity in the first.
After the scoreless first period, it didn’t take long for the scoring to pick up in the second.
The Sabres got on the board first, and though it was Skinner who buried the puck, it wouldn’t have happened without a sweet pass. As he skated around the net, Eichel slipped a backhanded, no-look pass to Skinner on the doorstep, and the winger finished it at 3:18 to extend his point streak to six games.
Not long after, Kampfer responded, and much like the Skinner goal, it was thanks to some great passing.
After David Backes lofted a pass into the neutral zone out of a defensive-zone scrum, Joakim Nordstrom gathered the puck and did a fine job of maintaining possession as he skated around the net, fighting off Rasmus Dahlin in the process.
Once Nordstrom got to the face-off dot, he slid the puck across the ice to the other dot, where Kampfer was dashing in. The defenseman quickly wristed his first goal of the season home to even the score at 5:18.
The Bruins nearly added another goal to take the lead, as Brad Marchand snuck a puck past Ullmark right on the doorstep in the midst of a net-front scrum. It was not counted, however, because the referees blew the whistle before the goal. And though the referees reviewed it, the officials said the goal was not reviewable because the whistle had been blown.
SABRES CLAIM THRILLER
Eichel was the one to break the 1-1 deadlock in the third period.
After getting a pass from Sam Reinhart to create a two-on-two offensive zone entry, the Sabres captain unleashed an absolute snipe past Rask to put Buffalo ahead.
Despite creating some decent chances, the Bruins failed to execute on a power play opportunity that began just after the nine-minute mark, but they cashed in shortly after it was released.
David Krejci continued his recent quality run of form, dangling after getting a pass from Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson before slipping a backhanded cross-ice pass to Torey Krug, who one-timed the equalizer home.
It was a particularly resilient effort from Krug, who had left the game briefly earlier in the period after taking a puck to the face.
The effort was for naught though, as Skinner got his second goal of the game just over three minutes later.
Eichel made a nice backhanded pass at the end boards, finding Skinner, who redirected it through Colby Cave’s legs and past Rask at the far post with just 3:31 to play.
Eichel put the game away for good, scoring an empty-netter with 24 seconds left to close the door.
The Bruins will play the second game of the current back-to-back Monday against the Montreal Canadiens. Puck drop from Bell Centre is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
This Bruins Wrap is presented by Plainridge Park Casino.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images