Share this article

print logo

Quick Hits: Bruins 2, Sabres 1 (OT)

BOSTON -- Brad Marchand's controversial penalty shot goal with 2:28 left in overtime gave the Boston Bruins a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night in TD Garden.

It was a fast-paced affair featuring plenty of scoring opportunities, with goaltenders Robin Lehner and Tuukka Rask strong throughout. Both teams finished with 38 shots on goal. Marchand beat Lehner on the backhand after it was ruled he had been grabbed by Rasmus Ristolainen, a call the Sabres hotly debated.

The Sabres have now earned points in a franchise-record eight straight road games against divisional opponents, going 6-0-2. They had four straight divisional road wins, a first since 2011, and were gunning for their first five-gamer on the road in division play since 2008.

The Sabres were also foiled in their bid for three straight wins in Boston for the first time since Oct. 20, 2005-March 4, 2006.

Familiar faces: The game marked the second and final home-and-home set of the season for the Sabres. They dropped both games to Washington in the other one Dec. 28 and 30. The Bruins' shootout win Thursday in Buffalo snapped their 0-14-2 drought this year in games they trailed by two goals.

"It reminds me of college. You feel like you're playing a playoff series in some aspects," said coach Dan Bylsma. "I like the animosity it brings in the game. ... You don't like looking at the same players too often and you start to build that animosity."

Ugly turnover: The Bruins jumped ahead on Loui Eriksson's goal at 12:22 of the first period, a play that derived its momentum from an awful turnover by Sabres defenseman Cody Franson. In control of the puck behind his net, Franson started to move it and fired an ill-advised pass up the middle to Zemgus Girgensons. David Krejci intercepted it, passed to David Pastrnak and the Pastrnak found Eriksson for a tap-in to Lehner's left.

Sam I Am: Buffalo tied it at 10:53 of the second as Sam Reinhart netted his 14th goal of the season, a backhand of a Jamie McGinn rebound as he crept out from behind the net to the left of Rask. Reinhart is third on the team in goals with 14 and is on pace to finish his rookie year with 22. He has scored goals in consecutive games for the first time in the NHL.

On the blueline: Mike Weber was reinserted into the lineup for the first time in three games, with Jake McCabe serving as a healthy scratch. Bylsma simply didn't want to sit any of his seven regular defensemen for a long period.

"I don't think we have a sore spot in the six that played," Bylsma said of previous games. "This is a team he's played well against. Last game when you go on the penalty kill in the third period and overtime, you're missing Mike Weber on the ice for those."

No Matt attack: With Marcus Foligno sidelined by a hip injury, Rochester callup Dan Catenacci made his debut on the fourth line. Matt Moulson moved up to the second line with Jack Eichel and Zemgus Girgensons -- and endured his 40th straight game without a goal. Moulson, who didn't post a shot on goal, has four goals on the season and has not scored since Nov. 1 in Brooklyn.

"The mere conversation of saying 40 games without one for Matt seems impossible," Bylsma said. "It's time for Matt to step up and do something out of the box."

Bylsma said he liked the puck pressure Moulson showed in Thursday's game against the Bruins but added, "It's time for him to step out, get one to go in off and ankle or go in off a chin in front of the net."

It's 46 years and counting: The Sabres remain the only team the Bruins have never swept in a season series. The Sabres went 1-1-2 against Boston this year.

Counting the House: The crowd of 17,565 was Boston's 281st consecutive sellout counting the regular season and playoffs. The streak stretches back to Dec. 2, 2009.

History note: The game was played on the 30th anniversary of the only five-goal game in Sabres history, posted in the old Boston Garden by Dave Andreychuk to spark an 8-6 Buffalo win on Feb. 6, 1986.

Up Next: The Sabres will host Atlantic Division-leading Florida Tuesday night in First Niagara Center. It's their final meeting of season with the Panthers, who earned a 5-1 victory in the last matchup Jan. 5 in Buffalo. Buffalo is 1-2 against Florida this season.

email: mharrington@buffnews.com

##

There are no comments - be the first to comment