The Boston Bruins lost their first game in regulation of the season 7-4 to the Buffalo Sabres on home ice. Buffalo was led by a stingy Ryan Miller in net and a very strong game from Thomas Vanek on the offense. Below are my five game observations.
Number Five: Physical Play
We all knew that the game would be a physical game, with the Sabres beefing up for the Bruins, and it kicked off early in the first when John Scott downed Shawn Thornton in a battle that left Thornton out for the game. Dougie Hamilton even made a big hit early in the first.
Number Four: Marchand
Brad Marchand scored two straight goals in the second period to help the Bruins go up 2-1. One of those goals came on an impressive dangle where he was able to get it around the defensive scrum in front and Miller to give them the lead. He then used a Seguin screen in front of Miller with a quick wrist shot to give Boston a two goal advantage.
Number Three: Defensive Breakdowns
I actually went over this after the last game against New Jersey, which was a win. The Bruins allowed two breakaways in the first period, one to John Scott of all people. In the second period, they allowed an even worse defensive breakdown when Tyler Ennis was wide open practically right in front of the net.
Number Two: Power Play?
The power play struggles for the Bruins are nothing new. They’ve been happening since before the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011. But the power play had several chances tonight, including a four minute major from Tyler Myers that was killed by a Dennis Seidenberg penalty.
Number One: Vanek
The Bruins always have trouble with Tomas Vanek, all the way back to their playoff series against them in 2009. Somehow, he just finds a way to score against Boston. He scored twice in the second period, including one to give them a 1-0 lead earlier on. The Bruins need to learn to find a way to defend him. He also had an assist on Cody Hodgson’s third period goal.