For whatever unexplainable reason, Buffalo (6-8-1) is faring well against Boston (8-2-2) early on this season. After losing 3-1 to the B’s on Sunday at the First Niagara Center, the Sabres returned the favor Friday with three unanswered goals in the third period en route to a 4-2 win over the Bruins.
This was the third of five meetings, Buffalo improved to 2-1 against Boston and coincidently, they’ve handed the Bruins their only two losses in regulation thus far.
Anton Khudobin (22 saves; 2-1-0) got his second straight start against Buffalo and this one wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as Sunday, although it wasn’t all his fault since his defensemen basically handed the Sabres a few goals with bad clearing attempts. Boston held a 2-1 lead after two periods and the crowd actually booed the Sabres (who entered the game tied for last-place in the Eastern Conference) off the ice heading into intermission.
After going scoreless in the last six games, rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton notched his first NHL goal and an assist. The Sabres got the early jump on the Bruins as Drew Stafford scored 3:24 into the first period. Hamilton’s goal tied it at one on a power-play blast from the point later that frame. Rich Peverley received a gift bounce off the glass and he swiped it out of the air for the 2-1 lead in the second period. Ironically, the B’s should have been up by more after two periods but they hit the post three times and Ryan Miller (30 saves; 6-6-1) kept his team in it with some top-notch saves.
No clue what Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff said before the third period but the Sabres came out inspired. They outshot Boston 10-3 and scored a quick flurry of three goals in less than a ten-minute span. Tyler Myers tied it on a rebound, Christian Ehrhoff pounced on a turnover right in front of Khudobin then Cody Hodgson added the insurance goal on a tap in.
This was the first of five games in a row on the road for Boston. Up next, they meet Winnipeg (5-7-1) on Sunday night (6 p.m., NESN). The Bruins outlasted the Jets 2-1 in a shootout on Martin Luther King Day, their second game of this crazy season. Tuukka Rask will get the start as the B’s try to get back on track against a team they should usually beat.