Bruins rebound, take down Sabres

After Thursday’s 4-2 hiccup in Buffalo, the Bruins (24-10-2) restored some order in the NHL universe Saturday at TD Garden as they beat the Sabres (9-24-3), 4-1. Boston has won its last seven games in a row and they’ve recorded a point in their last 14 games (12-0-2) at home. Reilly Smith scored two goals, Tuukka Rask made 34 saves and Patrice Bergeron got into the first regular season fight of his NHL career.

“We’ve been a good team at home this season (15-3-2),” said Bruins left wing Milan Lucic. “We want to make it a tough building to play in but we also have to get better on the road (9-7-0) to get points and move up in the standings.”

With injuries, the Bruins had to switch up their power play units hence why Smith’s first goal was assisted by Carl Soderberg and Ryan Spooner. The great passing sequence ended with Smith one-timing Soderberg’s pass by Jhonas Enroth (35 saves). Buffalo’s lone goal came on a fluky play as Zemgus Girgensons banked the puck off Rask’s back and into the net late in the first period.

David Krejci made it 2-1 early in the second period after a nice feed from linemate Jarome Iginla-who also had Lucic barreling toward the net. Later in the frame, mild-mannered Bergeron dropped the gloves with hulking Tyler Myers who is listed at 6-foot-8 (a mere 6 inches taller than Bergeron). The only other times Bergeron had fought in the NHL were last postseason vs. Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh) and 2009 vs. Josh Gorges (Montreal).

Lucic put it out of reach with a one-timer from Krejci in the third period and Smith polished it off with an empty-netter. This was Boston’s final home game before Christmas and they are in Nashville (16-16-4) on Monday (8, NESN) for the last contest before a three-day break around the league (Dec. 24-26).

What they’ll be saying:
Boston’s penalty kill was outstanding, holding Buffalo scoreless despite six power play opportunities. What’s more, the Bruins killed off a two-man advantage the Sabres had for 1:49 in the second period when Boston led 2-1. It was Chad Johnson vs. Ryan Miller on Thursday which was a mismatch and tonight it was more of the same with Rask taking on Enroth. There have been three games between these teams so far this season (with three more on the way) but thus far, Miller and Rask haven’t appeared in the same game. Since the next one isn’t until February 26 (first game back from the Olympics), maybe they’ll meet in Socchi first (U.S. vs. Finland). Is it too early to say that Smith has the Bruins’ 7th player award locked up in April? He’s second on the team in goals and has shown no signs of slowing down even bumped up to the second line now with more power play duties. Given his concussion history and all the injuries the Bruins are currently facing, I’m sure Boston’s front office weren’t thrilled to see Bergeron fight Myers but he hung in there. It turns out that getting cross-checked and punched in the head will anger Bergeron, who knew? The TD Garden definitely made it a memorable night for fans with a special holiday Bruins entrance video and the annual Christmas Carols sung by national anthem singer Rene Rancourt between the first and second periods. I know I’m ready for the big day now thanks to him.

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Two young children killed in deadly Queens fire

Two 4-year-old children died after a blaze at their Far Rockaway home on Saturday night. The Queens fire injured three others, including a third sibling.

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to “Orphan Black” Season 2! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany, while avoiding the…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.