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Well, so much for all that "worst team in the NHL" talk.

(Photo by Bill Wippert)
The Buffalo Sabres outlasted the Bruins Thursday night in the first game of a home-and-home, beating the B's 4-2 for only their 9th win of the season.

It's well known how rough the Sabres' season is going, as they sit at the bottom of the barrel in the NHL standings. Yet the Bruins could not capitalize on their misfortunes, and instead were frustrated by a pesky Sabres effort, as well as the wonderful play of goalie Ryan Miller, who made 34 saves in the game.

The B's fell behind 1-0 after the first period, with the lone Sabres goal coming from Brian Flynn shorthanded at 16:27.

The Sabres held the lead going into the second period, but then it was Brad Marchand who gave the recent subtle-yet-out-of-nowhere trade rumors floating around a swift kick in the junk, scoring his 6th and 7th goals just two minutes apart early in the frame, at 1:50 and 3:04, respectively.

But the B's gave the lead back late in the period, when Marcus Foligno batted in the puck into the open net after it hit him in the crease.

After about a dozen scoring chances from the B's, as well as a few posts and crossbars, it was Drew Stafford who broke the deadlock with just five minutes to go, beating backup goalie Chad Johnson on a wrap-around goal, catching the net-minder out of position on the play.

Tyler Myers added the fourth Sabres goal of the night just a minute later after an awful breakdown by the B's in all three zones.

Now this was not the Bruins' worst game of the season. That honor belongs to the day-before-Thanksgiving 6-1 smackdown versus the Red Wings. However, with all things considered, this is a game the B's simply cannot lose.

The Sabres sit at the bottom of the league in dozens of categories, most importantly total points. Letting two points slip away against such a poor team is unacceptable for this team.

The B's will look to save face when Buffalo comes to town Saturday night to finish the home-and-home.


  • B's captain Zdeno Chara was a -1 on the night, bringing his season total back down to +1. Its very un-Chara like, as we've have always seen Chara among the best in the NHL in terms of +/-.
  • Massachusetts native and BU alum David Warsofsky made his NHL debut, recording no points, 12:29 TOI and a -1. Not the greatest first night ever, but put him on the list of yet another NHL-caliber ready d-man to come from Providence.
  • Rookie Matt Fraser recorded his first career NHL fight in a scrap with Marcus Foligno. With the impending returns of Daniel Paille and Loui Eriksson on the horizon, it seems the extra effort on Fraser's part was to show that he is willing to sacrifice a little bit more to stay up with the big club. 
  • After his antics in Vancouver drew some ire from coach Claude Julien, coupled with his lack of scoring output this season, the focus had turned to Brad Marchand these past few days. But BM63 responded in a big way, potting the only two goals for the Black and Gold on the night.
  • Backup Chad Johnson had his worst game of the year, giving up four goals, the most he's given up in eight starts this season. 

Mark Burke 12/20/2013 01:10:00 AM Edit

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