Ever since the two teams met in the 2010 playoffs, the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins have formed an intense rivalry. From the Milan Lucic hit on Ryan Miller, to Brad Marchand’s bashing of the city of Buffalo, many off-ice story lines and on-ice incidents have turned this once mediocre rivalry into a great one.
Unfortunately for Bruins fans, they will not be able to give Ryan Miller the TD Garden treatment as Jhonas Enroth is slated to start in net for the Sabres.
Tim Thomas, who will see much of the action going forward due to the Tuukka Rask injury, will start in net for the Bruins. Backing up Thomas will be long time NHL net-minder Marty Turco. The Bruins signed the veteran Turco earlier this week, hoping he can provide Thomas with some much needed rest to prepare for the playoff run.
The leading scorer for Buffalo this season is Jason Pominville- who has 24 goals, 37 assists, totaling for 61 points in 67 games to lead the Sabres.
Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin are tied for the Bruins lead in points with 54 each. Seguin leads the team with 24 goals after only registering 11 his entire rookie campaign.
Four minutes into the game and neither team had put together an impressive shift. The Bruins outshot the Sabres 5-2 in the early going, but nothing challenging enough to beat Enroth in net.
With one power play in the period, the Bruins continued to apply the most offensive pressure, but still failed to put the puck in the net. Buffalo seemed to have their legs to start this game, despite going to OT against Carolina last night.
With only five minutes left in the period, the Sabres leading scorer came up big again as Pominville took the puck down the right side, and blasted a slap shot past Thomas. While it was a cannon of a shot by Pominville, Thomas had a good look at the puck and needs to make those saves on a more consistent basis.
Recently the Bruins net-minder has struggled making saves on incoming forwards taking the shot, something that must improve in order for the Bruins to win games. They will always be a defense first team, starting with whoever’s in net.
The first period ended with Buffalo leading the Bruins 1-0.
Not much had happened mid way through the second period- Seguin had the best chance thus far getting past the Buffalo defense off a great feed from Joe Corvo, but was stopped glove-side high on a nifty save by Enroth.
The Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin combo continued to poor on golden scoring chances, but could not net the first Boston goal. The bruins seemed to be getting the best of the Sabres, but to this point had nothing to show for it.
Finally the effort paid off, as Shawn Thornton corralled a Buffalo turnover at the blue line and ripped a slap shot, only to be tipped by Greg Campbell for the goal. The play went under review, but Campbell’s stick was clearly underneath the crossbar, making it an easy call for the refs who then confirmed the goal.
The second period ended with the score knotted at 1.
The Bruins had the best chances early in the third period. Good pressure by Jordan Caron near the Buffalo goal led to the first Boston lead of the night. The young winger tried to center a pass to Brad Marchand, but the puck was deflected away right to Johnny Boychuk, who then blasted it by Enroth for the goal.
Boychuk’s bomb was one of the fastest slap shots we’ve seen at TD Garden all season long, an absolute “Johnny Rocket”.
The Bruins really worked over the Sabres with a dominant physical presence, and high-pace tempo to take it too to a Buffalo team that played their second game in as many nights.
Shortly thereafter the Lucic, Krejci, Seguin line worked their magic up the ice again, Seguin starting the play as Krejci and Lucic perfected the two on one, Krejci beating Enroth top shelf to extend the boston lead to 3-1.
The score never changed, as the Bruins defeated the Sabres 3-1.
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