The Sabres, who won two straight away from Buffalo, wanted to carry that good feeling into Friday's home game with an impressive start. They got it with a solid first period.
They just forgot to start well during the other two periods.
Boston scored shortly after both intermissions, rendering the Sabres' start moot. The Bruins' 4-1 victory sent the Sabres to their sixth straight setback in First Niagara Center. They are on an 0-5-1 slide at home and fell to 8-14-2 downtown.
Goaltender Robin Lehner, playing for the first time since suffering a high-ankle sprain in the Sabres' season opener, stopped 27 of 30 shots. Brett Connolly scored into an empty net with 1:09 remaining.
Girgensons injured: The Sabres lost left wing Zemgus Girgensons to an upper-body injury with only 9:07 gone. Girgensons applied a hit to the Bruins’ Colin Miller just before departing. The Sabres entered the game with 12 healthy forwards, so they’ll need to recall a player from Rochester if Girgensons is expected to miss any more time.
Beat the traffic: Defenseman Zdeno Chara gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead just 29 seconds into the third period. Matt Beleskey won a faceoff in the Sabres’ zone, with the puck heading to Chara at the left point. He floated a high shot past the entangled duo of Beleskey and Ryan O’Reilly and over the glove Lehner.
Insurance goal: The Bruins extended their lead to 3-1 with 9:07 left on a goal by Ryan Spooner. With Sabres forward Sam Reinhart tied up with a Boston player at the top of the crease, Spooner sent a shot from the right boards along the ice. As Lehner slid to play the puck, it hit his pad and trickled through his legs and into the net.
Rare lead: For just the second time in the last 10 home games, the Sabres opened the scoring. The fourth line of Tim Schaller, Matt Moulson and Legwand did the honors with 5:23 left in the first. Shortly after Schaller hit the post, the Bruins had an opportunity to clear the zone. Instead, defenseman Colin Miller gave Legwand the puck behind the net. The center came out front and beat Bruins backup Jonas Gustavsson between the pads to end a 20-game goal drought.
Bruins rebound: Boston tied the game, 1-1, with just 1:01 gone in the second period. Jake McCabe lost coverage on Spooner at the blue line, but Lehner covered for the defenseman by stopping the breakaway. The rebound, however, went to an open Beleskey, and he ripped home a high shot from the left circle.
Power outage: Boston took three penalties in a span of 4:42 early in the second period, giving Buffalo a prime opportunity to regain the lead. Despite seven shots on the opening two power plays, the Sabres failed to capitalize. Buffalo entered the night with power-play goals in four of the previous six games.
Rare fight: Johan Larsson, who had just one fight in his NHL career, turned into a pugilist on the shift after Legwand’s goal. Larsson earned a decision over Boston’s Max Talbot, landing several punches early and rallying late. Larsson’s other fight was against San Jose’s Tyler Kennedy on Nov. 5, 2013, according to HockeyFights.com.
Shot disparity: The Sabres’ run of power plays allowed them to take 13 of the opening 16 shots in the second period. They opened a 22-12 lead and finished the second period with a 26-18 advantage.
Captain collision: After putting a second-period shot on net, Sabres captain Brian Gionta took an extra whack at the covering Gustavsson. It drew the attention of Chara. The Boston captain, who stands 6-foot-9, quickly engulfed the 5-7 Gionta along the boards.
Counting the house: The Sabres announced a crowd of 18,704, with Bills coaches Rex and Rob Ryan taking in the game from the 200 Level.
Up next: The Sabres go back-to-back as Washington visits the arena Saturday night. The Capitals’ coaching staff got an early look their opponent after watching Friday’s game from the press box. Washington is 2-0 against the Sabres this season.
Fans who donate a new carbon monoxide detector at the game will receive two free tickets to the Buffalo Auto Show. The promotion is part of Carbon Monoxide Awareness month, with the Sabres partnering with the Amanda Hansen Foundation.