The Boston Bruins sorely needed a bounce-back performance after their shutout loss three nights prior, and the Buffalo Sabres proved to be the perfect get-right opponent in a 5-1 verdict at KeyBank Center.
Boston improves to 10-6 on the campaign while Buffalo fell to 7-10-2.
You can view the full box score here.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
The Bruins not only bounced back with the win itself, but bounced back in-game, as well. Boston allowed Buffalo to take a one-goal advantage after a breakdown on the defensive end, but then lit the lamp four times in a matter of 5:31 at the end of the first period. Boston imposed its will behind its far-superior skill, and showcased the intensity the group wants to play with, albeit against a lesser opponent.
The Bruins’ 4-1 lead, which came after they out-shot the Sabres 22 to eight, resulted in Buffalo goaltender Aaron Dell (four goals on 22 shots) getting pulled after the first period. The rally of goals came from Patrice Bergeron (at 13:29), Charlie Coyle (at 14:20), David Pastrnak (at 16:59) and Mike Reilly (at 19:00). Bergeron and Coyle scoring within a matter of 51 seconds felt like the B’s found their rhythm despite how much time remained.
It’s also worth noting that star defenseman Charlie McAvoy left the game late in the third period after a boarding penalty on Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons. McAvoy skated on his own power, but did exit for the locker room.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Patrice Bergeron netted the game-tying goal to get the scoring started at 13:29. The Bruins captain finished with two points on one goal and one assist with five shots to boast his season total to 15 points in 16 games.
— David Pastrnak provided Boston’s top line and power-play unit a goal at 16:59, which helped the Bruins extended their lead to 3-1. The top-line winger finished with two points on one goal and one assist. Pastrnak, who has 17 points on the season, now has 12 points in his last eight games.
— Nick Foligno recorded a pair of points on two assists and also provided some second-period entertainment as he dropped the mits with Colin Miller. Foligno got the better of Miller, who didn’t get a clean shot on the Bruins forward.
If you bet the Over 5.5 (as was recommended on NESN Bets), you were sitting quite pretty after Boston took a 4-1 lead following the opening 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the next 35 minutes were quite worrisome before a third-period Taylor Hall goal at 15:26 officially cashed it in. A $120 wager on the Over would have paid out $220, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
ON DECK AT NESN
The Bruins return to TD Garden for three straight games starting with Friday’s tilt against the New York Rangers. Boston will return to the ice Sunday with the Vancouver Canucks, which you can watch on NESN.