As the Bruins traveled north to Buffalo to face the struggling Sabres, it was a contest that both teams wanted and both teams needed. For the Bruins, it was a game that featured new line combinations, the backup goalie and two defensemen—David Warsofsky and Joe Morrow—making their season debuts, with the latter making his NHL debut.
Just under one minute into the contest Milan Lucic accepted Chris Stewart’s invitation to drop the gloves, but the bout didn’t seem to provide a spark or energy to either side.
As the period continued, the B’s earned their first power play of the game after the Sabres were called for too many men on the ice, and who can blame them for trying that, especially considering their last game they only managed 10 shots on goal against the Leafs. Although not scoring, the first power play unit looked solid, generating good shots and moving the puck effectively, however, the makeshift second unit looked a bit disorganized and was generally ineffective, although that can be expected with minimal playing time together.
As the first period drew to a close in the morgue-like First Niagara Center, the Bruins showed some good offensive zone time in what was an otherwise fairly uneventful 20 minutes.
The Sabres broke the scoreless tie with a goal on their second power play of the game, and that is the Sabres first power play goal of the 2014 season. The goal came from Matthew Stafford, his first of the season, as he snapped a shot from the slot past Niklas Svedberg’s blocker.
The Bruins didn’t wait too long to draw even, as Carl Soderberg’s patience and passing touch found an open Adam McQuaid who netted his first of the year as he got one by Jhonas Enroth. Brad Marchand also factored into the scoring play as he got the puck off the board to Soderberg and drove to the front of the net creating a bit of a screen as McQuaid wristed it home.
As the B’s second power play of the game expired, the Sabres broke into the Bruins defensive zone with a two-on-one and Tyler Ennis made no mistake scoring his fourth of the year off a nice pass from Torrey Mitchell to put the Sabres back on top 2-1. And 2-1 is how the period ended with the Sabres scoring their two goals on three shots.
Brad Marchand found himself on the scoresheet for the second time of the night, this time in the goal column. Marchand, crashing the net had a Loui Eriksson shot deflect off of him and end up behind Enroth to tie the game at two.
Overtime was needed in this game and the Bruins decided to just simply take over in the extra period. Brad Marchand ended it with a snipe off of a pass from Reilly Smith, capping a three-point game from number 63.
This was not a pretty win at all, but a win is a win and something to work on as they look to the Senators coming to town on Saturday.