Sunday, February 10, 2013
Observations: Bruins 3, Sabres 1
By James Murphy
Patrice Bergeron broke a power-play drought and a 1-1 tie 7:52 into the third period and Anton Khudobin made 25 saves in his second start of the season as the Bruins won, 3-1 at Buffalo to avenge their 7-4 loss to the Sabres on Jan. 31.
If not for Ryan Miller (36 saves), this may have been a blowout win for Boston, but only Bergeron and Brad Marchand were able to beat the Buffalo netminder. Milan Lucic added an empty-netter with 49 seconds left in regulation to seal the Bruins’ third straight win.
With the win, the Bruins improve to 8-1-1, with the 17 points marking their best start ever through 10 games.
Marchand makes immediate impact -- Brad Marchand wasn’t expected to return to the lineup Sunday, but he was out there for warm-ups and made an immediate impact with his goal at 7:10 of the second period. Marchand also was his usual instigating self, getting under the skin of the Sabres and making his presence felt in the corners and in scrums. He now leads the Bruins with six goals.
Khudobin looks solid again -- This was supposed to be the second game of a back-to-back set, but with Saturday's snow-out that didn't play out. Still, Anton Khudobin got the start was solid in his second game of the season and is now 3-0-0 as a member of the Bruins (counting last season). Khudobin withstood some big momentum swings, especially late in the third when the Sabres were trying to tie it, and is proving that he can be depended on to provide some relief for Tuukka Rask.
Bergeron goal ends 0-for-17 power-play drought -- The Bruins looked like they were headed for another shutout on the power play as they struggled to light the lamp on their first four tries, including a 5-on-3 early in the second period. But Bergeron finally ended an 0-for-17 drought with his goal at 7:52 of the third period. While the power play continues to look better in terms of moving the puck around, there still needs to be more production. To the Bruins' credit though, if not for Miller's brilliance, the power play may have been better.
No Thornton-Scott rematch but Campbell, Kaleta drop gloves -- There was no rematch between Shawn Thornton and John Scott, but it was a rough game, and 8:59 into the first period, Gregory Campbell took exception to a Patrick Kaleta hit on Dennis Seidenberg and dropped the gloves with the Sabres' pest. Campbell ended up with the extra two minutes and a 10-minute misconduct for instigating, but did his job defending his teammate. Just another example of how the instigator rule has ruined the game. Why should a player be punished for standing up for his teammate?
Lineup back at full strength -- Thornton (concussion), Daniel Paille (upper body) and Marchand (undisclosed injury) all returned to the lineup as the Bruins were at full strength for the first time this month. Despite the return of Marchand, coach Claude Julien decided to keep the trio of Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin together. Here's what the lineup looked like:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Nathan Horton
Chris Bourque-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille-Greg Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Dougie Hamilton
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid