The Boston Bruins are enjoying a stretch in their schedule that most teams would kill to have at this time of year. The workload seems normal, but they are playing a string of games against opponents with records below .500.
This is the time to capitalize and secure some points to increase their lead in the Atlantic Division.
Their next two games would be against a team that they have grown to despise, hate, and even loathe. The Bruins were in action on Thursday and Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres in a home-and-home series.
The last time these two teams got together, Loui Eriksson was nearly beheaded by Sabres goon John Scott. Eriksson suffered a concussion (he currently is on injured reserve) and Scott was suspended for seven games. Although the Bruins roster has been depleted of their tough guys as well as their skill guys, would they seek retribution in Buffalo on Thursday night or would it strictly be about getting the two points?
That did not turn out to be the case since Scott was a healthy scratch for this one. However, the Sabres would not need his muscle. They went on to defeat the Bruins by a score of 4-2. Brad Marchand did record a pair of goals in a losing effort while goaltender Chad Johnson made only 19 saves. At this point in the season, the Sabres needed any spark to get things going and this was a victory that they could be proud of.
Prior to the game, it was announced that David
Warsofsky was recalled from Providence to replace Kevan Miller. He made
his NHL debut on Thursday night.
Now, our attention shifted to the second half of the home-and-home series between Boston and Buffalo. Tuukka Rask opposed Jhonas Enroth in the goaltender match-up.
In Saturday's game, which took place at the TD Garden, the Bruins continued their territorial dominance over their opponent through the first two periods. Also, we witnessed Patrice Bergeron drop the gloves with Tyler Myers (BUF) for his first-career regular season NHL fight. Very exciting, right?
The B's held a 2-1 lead into the third period, where they started out playing sloppy. They soon found their rhythm, led by Rask who made some key stops. Milan Lucic recorded his team-leading 12th goal of the season and Reilly Smith scored his second of the game to seal the 4-1 victory for Boston. One thing worthy of note is that the Bruins killed off two separate five-on-three power plays from the Sabres. The youngsters who have been filling in have been staying true to the system.
The Bruins will play their next game on Monday night against the Nashville Predators.
Gold Star: Brad Marchand...He had two goals on the road against Buffalo and he showed some grit during the home game. He had to be helped off the ice with an apparent injury, but returned minutes later. So much for those "trade talks."
Black Star: Jordan Caron...The more ice time that he seems to receive, the more he regresses. Yes, his linemates have been interchangeable but there are still no excuses.