The Sabres' second game of their Prospects Challenge was notable for two reasons. The first was who didn't play. The second was it looked like the old-time Buffalo-Boston rivalry despite a bunch of young players on the ice.
Alex Nylander, who hoped to use the tournament as a springboard to Buffalo's NHL training camp, missed Saturday night's 7-4 victory over the Bruins with a lower-body injury. The Sabres will also hold the forward out of Monday's finale for precautionary reasons.
Nylander played all of Friday's 4-3 overtime loss to New Jersey, including a shift in the extra session.
"He just didn't feel right this morning," said coach Chris Taylor, who expects Nylander to be ready for Sabres training camp Friday. "He'll get evaluated Monday and Tuesday, but it was just precautionary. We just want to make sure that he's healthy."
Chippy: Big Sabres forward Hudson Fasching flattened the Bruins' Emil Johansson with 13:05 to play, drawing a disputed charging penalty and sending the Boston defenseman to the dressing room.
The Bruins weren't happy, and the game turned rough. Officials stepped in to prevent a fight involving Buffalo defenseman Anthony Florentino. Minutes later, Sabres forward Arvin Atwal pummeled Bruins first-round prospect Jake DeBrusk as the full house in HarborCenter rose to its feet with thunderous applause.
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) September 10, 2017
Power arrives: The Sabres had six power plays Friday, but they failed to connect on any. They scored five goals with the man-advantage against the Bruins.
The third came with 17:11 to play and gave the Sabres a 4-3 lead. Nick Baptiste fired from the right circle, beating goaltender Luke Richardson. C.J. Smith made it 5-3 on the power play, and Vaclav Karabacek made it 6-3 with the man-advantage after a nice pass from Vasily Glotov with 5:50 left.
First power play: With Hudson Fasching providing a screen in front, defenseman Brendan Guhle got a shot through from the blue line. Fasching spun to corral the loose puck and scored while getting knocked to the ice with 7:48 left in the first period.
Fasching also scored an empty-net goal with 1:05 left.
Boston outshot Buffalo, 14-9, in the opening period and tied the game on a goal by Justin Hickman with 3:39 to go.
Power stays: Guhle made the most of the Sabres' second power play with 2:43 gone in the second. The defenseman streaked into the Bruins' zone, cut to the left side of the crease and put Smith's cross-ice pass into the back of the net.
Boston made it 2-2 three minutes later.
Eventful penalty: With Fasching in the box for holding midway through the second, both teams scored.
Justin Bailey, who was stopped on an early breakaway and followed by putting a wide-open chance into the chest of goalie Luke Richardson, connected on his third golden opportunity. Cliff Pu pushed the puck to Bailey at the red line, and he again went in alone. This time, he got the goaltender down and went right for an easy deposit.
The Bruins' power play struck just 40 seconds later to make it 3-3. Boston held a 24-15 shot advantage after two periods.
McGrath impresses: The Sabres went with 18-year-old goaltender Jake McGrath, an invite who plays for Sudbury of the Ontario Hockey League. He made 34 saves.
Lineup changes: The Sabres made multiple swaps compared to the lineup used in Friday's 4-3 overtime loss to New Jersey. In addition to Nylander, Eric Cornel and defensemen Austin Osmanski and Carl Neill took a seat. Justin Danforth and Alex Kile played up front, while Atwal and Brycen Martin joined the back end.
Blowout: Pittsburgh picked up an easy 6-2 victory over New Jersey in the first game Saturday. The Penguins' Jordy Bellerive, who plays for the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League, scored three times.
Next: There are no games Sunday as the teams get a day off. The tournament concludes Monday. The Bruins and Devils will face off at noon. The Sabres will host the Penguins at 7 p.m. Tickets to each game are $10.