The Bruins turned Wednesday’s game on its head in the final minutes of the first period as Boston scored four goals in a five-minute span en route to a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy certainly was encouraged by the effort, despite the fact the Sabres scored the first goal of the game on a shot that goaltender Jeremy Swayman admitted he wished he could have back.
?Yeah, I mean, we really pushed through after that,” Cassidy said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We were trying to play the right way — get up the ice in a hurry, get in and out of our end, support the puck, play off the shot. So that’s actually what happened on that. We did a good job getting out, our (defense) got caught a little bit, I thought Bergy (Patrice Bergeron) played the one-on-one pretty good, just a good shot.”
And then came goals from Patrice Bergeron (at 13:29), Charlie Coyle (at 14:20), David Pastrnak (at 16:59) and Mike Reilly (at 19:00).
“But after that we really kind of controlled a play and got some breaks around the front of the net. But I think you earn your breaks, too, by putting the puck to the net and out-working people in the dirty area,” Cassidy said. “And we were able to find the back of the net.”
Here are some other notes from Bruins-Sabres:
— Cassidy shared how Charlie McAvoy, who exited the game late in the third period after Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was called for a boarding penalty at 13:46, was going to be OK.
“He got some stitches. He was up moving around so he’s good,” Cassidy said. “I don’t expect much going on. He’ll have a gash over his eye. Hopefully no (concussion). ? Right now that’s not the case, but who knows. Let’s hope he wakes up, knock on wood, healthy and feeling good, has some turkey tomorrow, and ready to go Friday.”
Cassidy did not believe Girgensons’ hit on McAvoy had any “malicious intent” behind it.
— Swayman, who got the start Wednesday after Cassidy explained in the morning it was a game-time decision, will be back in net Friday when Boston hosts the New York Rangers.
“He’ll go Friday simply because lack of practice time,” Cassidy said in reference to Boston’s day off Thursday. “Whoever was going to play tonight we thought that would be the right thing to do to keep them in some sort of in a rhythm. Get the other guy in there Sunday now. Obviously with Ullmark, he was scheduled to start so we’ll have to see where that’s at once we get back, well, I guess Saturday for him.”
Swayman said given his preparation he felt perfectly confident starting Wednesday.
— Ullmark was scheduled to start Wednesday night’s game before a “minor tweak” suffered during Wednesday morning’s practice caused him to serve as the backup.
“I hope not,” Cassidy said when asked if the ailment would be something Ullmark needs to rest. “I mean it didn’t seem like a big thing. He was able to back up. We weren’t gonna bring a guy in last minute anyway so, you know, unless it was really stuck. But I don’t think it’s anything major. Hopefully day off the ice (Thursday), he’ll be good to go on his next start.”
— The Bruins will return to action Friday at TD Garden against the New York Rangers.