By: Jeremy Perrigo
The Bruins came into the weekend feeling good after a strong 6-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks Thursday. The Sabres traveled to Boston fresh off a Friday night game with the those same Canucks that wielded a different result. Buffalo dropped a 4-2 decision to Vancouver, and forward Jack Eichel has told media he is “sick of losing”, as his team has gotten off to a disappointing 1-5-2 start. Eichel and company paid visit to Beantown Saturday, hoping to take a turn in the right direction.
Momentum shifted back and forth throughout the first ten minutes of the period as both teams fought to gain control of the game. Boston edged out front with 6:44 left in the period when David Pastrnak made a nifty play along the boards to feed the puck to Tim Schaller who was rushing into the Sabres’ zone. Schaller took the puck to the net and into a pile of bodies where Pastrnak eventually caught up to the play and poked the puck into the net.
The Bruins would extend their lead with 4:55 left in the period when Brad Marchand scored two seconds into an Evander Kane slashing call. The puck was won from the left circle of the Sabres’ zone, back towards the Sabre net, where Marchand picked it up and beat goaltender Robin Lehner with a quick move to extend the Bruins lead to two.
Boston outshot the Sabres 13-6 in the first period, and led with a score of 2-0.
Brad Marchand 37 seconds into the period, received a drop pass from Anders Bjork and fired it top shelf to give the Bruins a three-goal lead with his second goal of the night.
Jason Pominville would tally the next goal of the game, getting the Sabres on the board 8:01 into the period. After Boston failed multiple times to get the puck out of their zone, the puck found its way to Pominville in the right circle, who put a shot into the net over the glove of Anton Khudobin.
With 8:38 left in the period David Pastrnak would exchange a quick touch pass with Riley Nash, then cut to the middle of the Sabres’ zone from the left wall, and sent a wrist shot toward the Buffalo net which redirected off the skate of Sabres’ defenseman Matt Tennyson and past Robin Lehner.
The Sabres would refuse to go away, with 3:53 left in the period Jack Eichel cleaned up a Marco Scandella point shot in front of the Bruin net to cut his team’s deficit to two.
Buffalo edged out Boston 15-12 in shots during the second period, and the Bruins would take a 4-2 lead into the third period.
Buffalo came out hard to start the third, noticeably motivated from their strong finish to the second period. The Sabres would get rewarded for pressuring the Boston early into the final frame when former Bruin Benoit Pouliot beat Khudobin on a broken play from the hash marks to make it a one-goal game.
Buffalo would keep coming, and with 2:08 left in the period, shortly after a Brandon Carlo interference call expired, Evander Kane would find a way to sneak a puck into the Bruin net off a scrum in front to tie the game 4-4.
It looked like Buffalo might score another goal to win the game in regulation, however, Boston was able to fight off last-second scoring threats to send the game to overtime.
After Regulation the score was tied 4-4. Buffalo outshot the Bruins 15-6 in the third period.
Sudden death looked much like the third period, the Sabres held possession of the puck in their offensive zone, outshooting the Bruins 6-0 before Ryan O'Reilly beat Khudobin with a quick move from the side of the net to the front.
The goal would be reviewed for goaltender interference when Rasmus Ristolainen came crashing down on Anton Khudobin. However, the goal would count when it was ruled Torey Krug pushed Ristolainen on top of the Bruin netminder. You can read more about the decision to allow the goal here.
Buffalo outshot Boston 42-31. Boston won 55.4% of the faceoffs and outhit the Sabres by a slight margin 34-31.
Final Score: Buffalo - 5 / Boston - 4 / OT
Next Game: Thursday, October 26th vs. the San Jose Sharks
The Bruins came out strong against a Sabres team that they knew was on the second night of back-to-back games. Unfortunately, it almost seemed like they came out to too strong of a start, and after getting up early in the game, started to lay back and let Buffalo take the play to them.
While Anton Khudobin looked shaky at times, it was certainly the team around him that broke down offensively and defensively. The only period the Bruins outshot the Sabres in was the first, the next two periods the Sabres got the majority of pucks on net, and it showed on the scoreboard when Buffalo began to chip away at the Bruins lead.
The B’s get four days off before hosting the San Jose Sharks, with plenty of time to sit on a stinging loss.