BOSTON – With a 400th consecutive sellout crowd watching from inside TD Garden, the Buffalo Sabres illustrated how far they have come since they were shut out by Boston back on opening night Oct. 4.
The Sabres capped a two-game road trip Sunday night with a 4-2 win over the Bruins. Buffalo, 20-9-5 with 45 points, has won three of its last four and is 7-3-2 against the Atlantic Division this season.
Jack Eichel had two goals and assisted on both Jeff Skinner goals, including the game-winner with 3:31 remaining in regulation. Sam Reinhart won a battle to a loose puck in the corner and passed to Eichel behind the net, who made his second backhanded centering pass of the net to set up Skinner's 24th of the season.
The Bruins, now 17-12-4, tied the game three minutes earlier when Torey Krug took advantage of David Krejci's centering pass. Defenseman Steve Kampfer also scored for Boston.
Eichel gave the Sabres the lead with his 13th goal of the season 5:43 into the third period, beating Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask with a wrist shot. Eichel also scored on the empty net after Zemgus Girgensons blocked a shot. Skinner broke the scoreless tie 3:18 into the second with his 23rd goal of the season. Linus Ullmark, starting in goal with the Sabres on the second game of a back-to-back weekend, made 35 saves.
Skinner again: Skinner gave all the credit to Eichel for the go-ahead goal in the second. Eichel worked the puck down low and behind the net before he fired a no-look, backhanded centering pass to Skinner, who shot into the open net for his third goal in four games.
Eichel now has 31 assists and extended his point streak to six games.
Big save: That goal came moments after Ullmark made an outstanding save. Bruins winger Ryan Donato skated to the slot and dragged the puck to create a shot, but Ullmark managed to knock the puck down with his glove while laying on his back.
Quick answer: Boston took advantage when Sabres winger Tage Thompson failed to keep track of Kampfer in the defensive zone. The Bruins cycled the puck around the net and Joakim Nordstrom carried it up the left-wing boards, where he made a centering pass to Kampfer, who was all alone and beat Ullmark at 5:18 into the second.
Close call: Eichel's line gave the Bruins fits throughout the first period, including his toe-drag deke around defenseman Charlie McAvoy that led to a scoring chance. Their success carried over to the power play, when Eichel hit the post on a wrist shot with 6:10 left in the period.
Penalty shot: An awkward carom off the glass gave Donato a breakaway with 3:39 left in the first period, and he was tripped by defenseman Matt Hunwick prior to attempting a shot. Donato was awarded a penalty shot, which was stopped by Ullmark.
It was the first penalty-shot save by a Sabres goalie since Robin Lehner stopped Florida's Reilly Smith on March 27, 2017. Lehner allowed a penalty-shot goal to Pittsburgh's Tom Kuhnhackl on Dec. 1, 2017.
Personnel change: Hunwick began the game skating on the right side with Brendan Guhle on his left; however, coach Phil Housley changed his defensive pairings in the second period after those two didn't quite gel. Dahlin was paired with Guhle and asked to move to the right side, while Hunwick played Zach Bogosian.
Seven: This was the Sabres' seventh of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season.
Next: The Sabres are off Monday and will return to the ice Tuesday when they host the Florida Panthers at 7 p.m. in KeyBank Center.