The Bruins were perfectly positioned to take advantage of an advantageous matchup against a subpar Sabres team, but that didn’t prove to be enough for Boston to extend its winning streak to four on Thursday night.

In squandering a chance at building on their recent momentum, the Bruins were handed a 3-1 loss from the Sabres at TD Garden, dropping Boston to 2-4-1 this season when trailing after the first two periods.

There was a clear difference in urgency and intensity between the two sides, which allowed Buffalo to position Boston to play catch-up, creating a deficit the Bruins weren’t able to dig themselves out of — even after Brad Marchand sliced the lead to 2-1 in the second period.

“I thought they were hungrier than us,” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “It came down as that simple. I thought that Buffalo was winning the 50-50 battles, they were killing us on the draws and you’re chasing a game.”

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Montgomery added: “We definitely didn’t have the energy or the juice we usually have.”

Boston still skated away with an Atlantic Division-best 17-5-3 record, but when considering the Sabres are in contention for the worst record in the Eastern Conference, it puts the loss in a more daunting perspective. The Bruins had chances to muster up a rally, but didn’t and Buffalo took advantage of that, giving the B’s one of their biggest head-scratching losses thus far.

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“I felt we weren’t willing to work for our offense,” Montgomery explained. “We weren’t willing to put it in and go to work. It takes a lot of work to be a good forechecking team and tonight we just didn’t have that.”

That’ll book Boston for the loss column any given night, regardless of who they face on the ice.

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Here are more notes from Thursday night’s Bruins-Sabres game:

— The Bruins entered the night having compiled a 10-0-1 record in their previous 11 games with the Sabres.

— Linus Ullmark suffered his first career loss to the Sabres in five matchups, although the save percentage remains strong at .945. Buffalo netted a dagger goal right past Ullmark in the third period and applied pressure all three periods, firing off 35 shots on goal.

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“It wasn’t that bad, I think,” Ullmark told reporters postgame, per NESN. “They wanna create a lot of chaos, obviously and they wanna put a lot of bodies in front (of the net). But I think we did a good job of coming back and start sorting out better and better as the game went on.”

— Charlie McAvoy made an early departure in the third period after colliding with Buffalo’s JJ Peterka. McAvoy did not return.

— Marchand, who prevented the Bruins from getting shut out by the Sabres with his 12th goal of the season, is now responsible for scoring each of Boston’s last five goals.

— In search of a bounce-back victory, the Bruins will host the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday afternoon. Puck drop from TD Garden is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET, and you can catch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, live on NESN.

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Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images