For those of you lucky enough to see the Boston Bruins/New York Rangers game this past Tuesday night, you witnessed one of the better hockey games so far in this young season.
Although the B's eventually fell to the Rangers in a shootout, they were carrying some heavy momentum into Friday's game against the Buffalo Sabres. Boston had defeated the Sabres earlier in the week and this game marked the third time these two divisional rivals faced each other this season.
Boston came into this game looking to make it five straight road wins. This game also marked the beginning of a five-game road trip for the Black and Gold. As for the Sabres, they are struggling due to the lack of scoring depth. Thomas Vanek leads the team in goals (11), assists (12) and points (23). Outside of their top line, not a lot of production. It does not hurt to shake things up every now and then to get some players going. Just ask Bruins head coach Claude Julien.
Anton Khudobin got the start in goal for Boston in this game. Tuukka Rask got the night off after a shaky start on Tuesday night. Other than that, no other changes to the Bruins lineup.
The first period belonged to Buffalo. They jumped on the board quickly after a defensive breakdown by the Bruins. Drew Stafford was credited with his first goal of the season on the play. Towards the end of the period, Dougie Hamilton scored the first goal of his NHL career on the power play. Now how about that for killing two birds with one stone? A rookie scoring his first goal on, literally, the worst man advantage in the league.
In the second period, the Bruins started to be more of a physical team. With the hits came the scoring chances and the lack of scoring chances for the Sabres. They were out-shot by the Bruins 17-6 in the second period, leaving Khudobin feeling bored at times down at the other end of the ice. Rich Peverley increased the lead after deflecting in a centering pass from Hamilton towards the front of the net.
The third period was when things turned around. The Sabres scored three unanswered goals to take the lead and they never looked back. Even though this went down as a 4-2 loss for the Bruins, Khudobin did not play as bad as it looked. The defense in front of him just did not hold up in the final 20 minutes.
They will not have long to think about this game. The Bruins will continue their road trip on Sunday night when they travel to Winnipeg to take on the Jets.
Gold Star: Dougie Hamilton (1 goal, 1 assist)...Although the defense as a whole was not that great, he provided some offense for a team that needed it.
Black Star: Chris Bourque (-2)...He is becoming a defensive liability on the ice. To make things worse, he is getting time on the struggling power play. Maybe another healthy scratch is necessary?