Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Game Fifty Two: Bruins Blanked

The Boston Bruins renewed their rivalry with the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night. The chippy play was to be expected considering what happened in the previous two meetings, but that was not what the B's had in mind coming into this game. They were looking for a win.

Tuukka Rask got the start in goal for Boston. One has to wonder just how long Rask will be a backup since Tim Thomas was at it again on Facebook. I am not saying that he will get traded. However, it is just something to think about.

Chris Kelly skated on the top line with Rich Peverley and Milan Lucic and David Krejci skated with Jordan Caron and Benoit Pouliot. The combinations are fairly new but the lines seemed to click very well in their last game. Nathan Horton is still out with lingering concussion symptoms.

Across the sheet, Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff was not on the bench on Wednesday for the game. He suffered three broken ribs during a practice earlier this week. Assistant coach James Patrick assumed head coaching duties for Buffalo in this game for the injured Ruff. With the Sabres trying to keep their playoff hopes alive, this was a big game for them.

The Bruins tested Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller early on. They established a good forecheck that created some good shots. Boston had a goal waved off due to a very soft goaltender interference call. The momentum shifted after that as it was Buffalo who grabbed two goals in the first 20 minutes.

Christian Ehrhoff and Jason Pominville were the scorers for Buffalo. Gregory Campbell deflected the puck into the goal on Ehrhoff's shot and Johnny Boychuk committed to early on Ville Leino who assisted on Pominville's goal. There was not too much Rask could have done on those mistakes.

What did go right for Boston in the opening period was that they had two fights go their way and they hoped that the resulted energy would carry over into the next period. Not so much.

After the Sabres grabbed another early goal, Rask was pulled in favor of Thomas. He kept the Bruins in the game by making some great saves upon entering. As the period went on, Buffalo controlled the tempo and the Bruins became frustrated.

Patrick Kaleta netted Buffalo's fourth goal of the night when the puck took a bounce underneath the legs of Thomas. Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves for the second time in the game before the period concluded. He also had a ten minute misconduct.

The game was all rapped up upon entering the final period once Pominville recorded his second goal of the game. Both teams played more conservative with the exception of one final donnybrook near the end of the game. The Sabres blew out the Bruins 6-0, their worst loss of the season.

Maybe it is a mistake to look this far ahead, but the next time the Sabres return to the TD Garden is March 8th. Just saying. Boston will be back on the ice Saturday afternoon when they take on the Nashville Predators.

Gold Star: Patrice Bergeron (4 shots on goal, 81.8% face-offs won)...I am obligated to award a gold star. Enough said.

Black Star: Joe Corvo...If he is still wearing the Black and Gold after the trade deadline I will not be happy.

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