Hamilton ready for brotherly battle after goal vs. Sabres

Hamilton ready for brotherly battle after goal vs. Sabres
October 24, 2013, 11:00 am
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BUFFALO – Dougie Hamilton has a habit of playing some of his best games in the Buffalo environs where he spent the bulk of his junior hockey career starring for the Niagara IceDogs.

Last season Hamilton notched his first career NHL goal against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center, and this season the second year defenseman snapped home another goal in Boston’s 5-2 win over the downtrodden Sabres. The goal ended up being the game-winner, and arrived at a pivotal point in the game when things were still very much up for grabs between the two divisional rivals.

“I was just skating around out there and having fun,” said Hamilton. “I think a lot of my shots were blocked, but I just wanted to keep getting pucks to the net and trying to create offense. It was tough knowing we have San Jose waiting for us back in Boston, but we were able to focus on the task at hand [in Buffalo].”

With the Bruins holding a 2-1 lead after Cody Hodgson had buried a power play goal in the second period for the Sabres, Buffalo was buzzing around looking for the game-tying score. An ill-advised Dennis Seidenberg breakout pass turned into a turnover on the stick of Marcus Foligno, and the Buffalo winger had a golden chance to tie the game midway through the period.

Instead Chad Johnson made his biggest save of the night knocking away Foligno’s shot, and that save kick-started the transition game going in the other direction. Carl Soderberg worked the puck up to Brad Marchand on the left wing, and he busted into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 with Dougie Hamilton with Henrik Tallinder as the last line of defense for Buffalo.

Marchand slid a puck through the diving Sabres defender to a wide open Hamilton, and the B’s defenseman roofed a shot over Ryan Miller’s glove hand for his second goal of the season. Hamilton finished with a team-high seven generated shot attempts in 21:40 of ice time, and was a plus-2 while playing solidly in all three zones.

“It was a great pass. I saw the guy going down [to block it] and I didn’t think it was going to get through,” said Hamilton. “Marchy basically told me afterward not to doubt him. It was a great pass, and that’s a shot I practiced a lot over the summer. I just executed it there.”

For Hamilton, the excellent all-around game also ended up being a nice warm-up for Thursday night when his older brother, Freddie Hamilton, and the San Jose Sharks come to town. With Brent Burns out after suffering an injury, it appears that the Hamilton Brothers will get their first chance to play against each other competitively at any level of hockey. Freddie was called up from the Worcester Sharks earlier this week, and the forward would seem to be a lock in the San Jose lineup.

Dougie and Freddie lined up against each other in scrimmages during practice when they both played for the Team Canada entry in the World Junior tournament, but otherwise they have always played together throughout the careers. The B’s defenseman sounded understandably excited about playing against his brother with their parents expected to be in attendance at TD Garden to watch the proceedings.

“It’s been our dream since . . . whenever. We dreamt of playing together in the NHL on the same team, but I guess the second best thing would be playing against each other,” said Dougie. “It’s looking like that might happen, so it will be pretty exciting. It will be one of the best things [that’s happened] in my life so far.”

Hamilton certainly played on Wednesday night in Buffalo like he was a player preparing for one of the biggest moments of his NHL career, and it looks like that might just be the case when everybody gets the first taste of the Hamilton hockey sibling rivalry on Thursday night.