Friday, February 24, 2012

Game Fifty Nine: Bruins Lose To Sabres In Shootout

Here we go again. The Bruins got another crack at the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night. They were knocked off by Buffalo 6-0 two weeks ago in what turned out to be their worst loss of the season thus far.

The First Niagara Center in Buffalo has become "the worst place to play" according to Brad Marchand. Did the fans chanting "Boston sucks" in the last meeting have anything to do with it? It's something you have to get used to as a professional. Ignore the crowd.

Boston was coming off of a great performance on Wednesday at St. Louis. Even though it was only a two-goal game, the Bruins dominated from whistle to whistle and that was what the B's needed to do to get back on track. The Milan Lucic-Chris Kelly-David Krejci line recorded four points against the Blues. Krejci skating on the wing has been vital and it could be a key down the stretch.

Tuukka Rask got the start for Boston against the Sabres. He is a goaltender that gets discouraged easily, so he needed to come out early and make some saves to get his confidence up. He did just that. How about that for a coincidence?

Both teams did not rely too much on the physical play in the first period. They actually decided to focus on the game of hockey. They each made some bad defensive turnovers and that caused some odd-man rushes going the other way. Rask and Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller made a total of 15 saves combined in the opening 20 minutes.

What stood out in the second period for the Bruins was their ability to block shots. Andrew Ference had two blocked shots in one sequence. However, the Bruins surrendered the only goal of the period at 14:45. Andrej Sekera beat Rask for his third goal of the season. Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford had the assists.

The physical play picked up in the third period, which seemed to favor the Bruins. Zdeno Chara tied the game with a power play goal. The game eventually went through a scoreless overtime and into a shootout. That is what everyone expected right? (sarcastic tone)

The Sabres beat Rask in the fourth round of the shootout on a goal by Derek Roy. The Sabres knocked off the Bruins by a final score of 2-1.

The Bruins wrap up the road trip Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators.

Gold Star: Johnny Boychuk...He was playing hard in all three zones during this game, something an all-around defenseman needs to do.

Black Star: Shawn Thornton...He was still feeling the symptoms of the flu so his sub-par performance was no surprise.

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