Recap - Bruins at Sabres - Friday February 15, 2013 - Bruins Lose 4 - 2
Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres
February 15, 2013
Lucic - Krejci - Horton
Marchand - Bergeron - Seguin
Bourque - Kelly - Peverley
Paille - Campbell - Thorton
Chara - Boychuk
Seidenberg - Hamilton
Ference - McQuaid
Vanek - Hodgson - Pominville
Foligno - Ennis - Stafford
Gerbe - Grigorenko - Ott
Scott - Hecht - Kaleta
Regehr - Myers
Sekera - Ehrhoff
Leopold - Weber
Bruins came out of the first period with a good pace and high energy. 1st liners Lucic, Krejci, and Horton screamed around the ice and managed to put a few shots on Miller right off the bat. The Bruins seemed to be in control despite their grinding game against the Ranger just two nights ago. A quick breakout by the Sabres led to Drew Stafford's 1st goal of the season which came when Tyler Ennis found Stafford camped in front of Khudobin.
The Sabres seemed to gain energy after Stafford goal and maintained it despite the Bruins stomping their powerplay which came from a highstick by Adam McQuaid. Despite Boston playing pretty poorly in front of Anton Khudobin, the Russian goaltender stood tall and stopped some good chances by the Sabres.
As the 1st period ticked away, Boston got their legs under them. Milan Lucic had some great chances, once ringing iron on a great shot in the slot. Marchand, Bergeron, Seguin found their rhythm also. With 5 minutes left in the period a few gritty defensive plays by Steve Ott, who is fully living up to his job description as the Sabres muscle, discouraged great scoring attempts.
Despite the decent play by the Buffalo Sabres, the crowd at the First Niagara Center was noticeably quiet and would continue to be. After Drew Stafford tripped Brad Marchand with 3:43 left in the 1st, the Bruins power play came out strong. After the first PP line peppered Ryan Miller with shots, the second PP line of Lucic, Krejci, Seguin, Hamilton, and Seidenberg forced the Sabres PK deep into their zone and lead to Tyler Seguin and David Krejci assisting in Dougie Hamilton's first goal of the season.
Bruins come out with great energy and went into their defensive scheme, hardly letting the Sabres gain more than three strides past the blue line. Sabres fans woke up and made a valiant attempt to feed their team some energy. Unfortunately for the folk in attendance, the chant only led to Hamilton's second point of the night after he and Dennis Seidenberg fed Rich Peverley to his 2nd goal of the season.
With 10 minutes left the Sabres defense seemed to wake up and killed some good attempts by the Bruins. Any energy Buffalo attempted to generate was squashed by Anton Khudobin but Ryan Miller was no slouch either. He stoned Tyler Seguin on a shot off a juicy rebound which was easily the best scoring chance of the period.
The remainder of the 2nd was a defensive battle controled entirely by the Boston Bruins. The neautral zone congestion left the Buffalo Sabre with zero answers. Even with the Boston Bruins taking a too many men on the ice penalty with 5:41 left in the second period, the Boston penalty kill had Buffalo's number. 15 seconds into Buffalo's power play Steve Ott interfered with Dennis Seidenberg making it 4 on 4. The energy swung back to the Bruins, leading to a deafening jeer from the fans in attendance at the Niagara Center.
The Boston Bruins had clearly won the 2nd period.
Whatever energy the Boston Bruins had through the 1st and 2nd periods, they lost in the third period.
Despite the Bruins suffering zero regulation losses when leading in any third period, a big hit by Steve Ott on David Krejci lead to Gerbe and Hershe feeding Tyler Meyers scoring on a breakout. From there Boston seemed to give up the ghost. Even with the Bruins power play continuing to dominate after Adam McQuaid went for inference at 17:10, the Sabres energy continued. The Boston Bruins lost all prominence in the neutral zone, leading to their inevitable demise in this game. Despite the Sabres fans cheering their team sarcastically throughout, at 9:02 Ehroff lifted a puck to top shelf on Khudobin, capitalizing on a Boston defensive breakdown. Another neutral zone breakdown lead to a Hodgson goal. The Boston Bruins quickly began to skid, losing the shots on goal statistic 10 to 3. The Bruins pulled Khudobin, hoping to repeat the magic created when they faced the Rangers two days ago but despite stopping some open net chances, the Bruins uncharacteristically simply stopped playing Bruins hockey.
If not for a defensive breakdown in the third period, the Bruins would have walked away with two points. It seemed to me that the defensive simply stopped playing in front of Khudobin despite some very respectable saves. In all honesty, after Thomas' departure, I was very worried about Anton at the start of this season. After tonight, not so much. He is a very decent goaltender and if the Bruins defense played like they do in front of Rask, this goal tending tandem is going to be something to be admired.