The Boston Bruins had their back pushed to their proverbial wall Saturday night, but they didn’t show any quit.
Trailing 2-1 in the third period, Jake DeBrusk scored an equalizer with 2:29 left, then Sean Kuraly buried the overtime winner to give Boston a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center.
Noel Acciari had the Bruins’ other tally, while Marco Scandella and Johan Larsson had the Sabres’ goals.
Tuukka Rask made 26 saves for the Bruins, while Buffalo netminder Carter Hutton turned away 39 shots.
The Bruins climbed to 21-14-4 with the win, while the Sabres fell to 21-13-5 with the loss.
Here’s how it all went down:
It didn’t take long for the Sabres to open up the scoring, but the opening period ultimately ended level.
After receiving a nice outlet pass from Sam Reinhart to clear Buffalo’s zone, Jeff Skinner had a one-on-one with Chara. Upon beating the defenseman, Skinner got a shot off on Rask, which was blocked. However, Scandella had joined the rush and buried the rebound at 4:40.
Just under five minutes later, the Bruins equalized.
Kevan Miller fought through some checks behind the net to maintain possession, and ultimately found Acciari right on the doorstep. Acciari’s shot was blocked by Hutton, but the pin-balling puck hit off Rasmus Ristolainen and went into the net.
SABRES TAKE LEAD
A fairly disturbing trend of the Bruins conceding shorthanded goals continued in the second period.
With Jack Eichel serving a double minor for high-sticking Zdeno Chara, the Sabres broke the 1-1 deadlock. Bruins skaters got sucked down low after David Pastrnak threw a puck to the net from the point, but Scandella got possession and was able to hit Larsson with a pass to get a 2-on-1 going. Larsson fed Evan Rodrigues with a pass, and once Rodrigues got to the top of the face-off circle he slid the puck back over to Larsson, who finished past Rask.
It was the eighth shorty the Bruins have conceded already this season.
BRUINS EQUALIZE LATE
The Bruins showed quite a bit of fight in the third period, outshooting Buffalo 18-5, and they were rewarded.
Pastrnak drew a kneeing penalty on Ristolainen with 3:43 to play to give the Bruins a prime late-game opportunity, and they made sure to cash in.
Boston established a nice offensive zone presence on the man advantage, and it finally lit the lamp when Torey Krug wristed a shot that was redirected past Hutton by DeBrusk for the equalizer.
KURALY WINS IT
David Krejci was whistled for interference just 34 seconds into the extra period, putting the Bruins in a less-than-ideal situation. Boston showed great resolve in response, killing off the penalty.
Shortly thereafter, Kuraly gave Boston the much-needed second point. He ripped a shot that Hutton blocked, but crashed in and put back the rebound to secure the win.
The Bruins will will take part in the Winter Classic on Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Puck drop from Notre Dame Stadium is set for 1 p.m. ET.
This Bruins Wrap is presented by Plainridge Park Casino.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images