The Boston Bruins returned to the TD Garden for their only home game of the week to take on the Buffalo Sabres, and they were looking to make it four straight wins this season against this struggling franchise. The Sabres always play the Bruins tough, so a defeat from the worst team in the entire league was not out of the question for the home crowd.
The previous statement is even more valid after what happened on Sunday night. The Bruins squandered a chance to take over sole possession of seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Because of the 2-0 loss to the Washington Capitals, Boston fell back into eighth place (only by two points). They still have the chance to control their own playoff destiny, but it had to begin with this game on Tuesday. Buffalo played on Monday, so there was no sympathy shared by the Bruins as they have had a plethora of back-to-back sets in this month alone.
Niklas Svedberg was between the pipes for Boston, giving Tuukka Rask a much-need breather. Other than that, the lineup remained the same.
One other piece of great news for this team: David Krejci announced on Tuesday that he is close to returning to the lineup after spraining his MCL over a month ago. Also, Brett Connolly started skating on Tuesday. Here is the full release....
Updates on Krejci and Connolly
In the first period, the Bruins ran circles around the Sabres. For 20 minutes, the better team definitely demonstrated the dominance. The B's out-shot Buffalo 14-3 in a fast-moving opening period. Loui Eriksson recorded the opening goal (18th of the season) after cleaning up a loose puck in front of the net. However, they failed to capitalize on the power play throughout the game. They are now 0-for-16 with the man advantage over the last four games.
After a scoreless second period, the Sabres begun the third period with the man advantage. That was a great opportunity for Buffalo to get back into this game...and they did not throw away that chance. Rasmus Ristolainen pulled his team even after a blast from the point. Honestly, the Bruins should have capitalized on several other scoring chances. Anders Lindback (the netminder for Buffalo) just so happened to be the best player on the ice--he made 44 saves on the night. The third period featured both teams exchanging great opportunities at both ends of the ice. Neither team could get the go-ahead goal in regulation, so this one went into overtime.
The game went goalless in the extra five minutes, hence a shootout was eminent. This was Buffalo's second consecutive game in which it went into a shootout. Although this time, the result went positive. The Bruins fell by a final score of 2-1 and fail to sweep the season series. Another opportunity wasted.
The Bruins will play their next game on Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators.
Gold Star: Loui Eriksson....His play as of late is making fans forget about Tyler Seguin. He was tied for the team lead in shots and recorded a goal to put his team in a position to win.
Black Star: Carl Soderberg...It may be time to sit this guy. He has not scored a goal in over 20 games. Assists are fine, but the team needs his goal output in the playoffs.
Game Seventy Box Score