Sabres rally with three goals in third, 4-2

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Sabres rally with three goals in third, 4-2

BUFFALO The Bruins probably should have been up by at least a couple of goals headed into the third period, and that ultimately did them in over the final 20 minutes.

Down by a goal entering the final period the Sabres scored a pair of unanswered goals and took a 4-2 win over the Bruins at the First Niagara Center, and handed Boston their second regulation loss of the season.

Tyler Myers tied the game up with a second-effort rebound goal that got things moving for a Buffalo team that was booed off the ice by their home fans at the end of the second period. Christian Ehrhoff slammed home the game-winner after a loose puck leaked out to him in the slot from behind the net to the slot area just beyond the outstretched reach of Rich Peverley.

The Bruins fell behind early as an Andrew Ference turnover behind the net turned into a Tyler Ennis-to-Drew Stafford connection just 3:24 into the first period. But the Bs used the power play to get it back at the end of the first period as a scramble in front turned into David Krejci feeding Dougie Hamilton in the high slot. The rookie defenseman hammered a puck into the open net for his first NHL goal and the score was tied at 1-1 apiece.

Hamilton became the first 19-year-old defenseman to score a goal for Boston since Jonathan Girard did it way back in 1999 in a Black and Gold uniform.

The Bruins dominated the Sabres to the tune of a 17-6 shot advantage in the second period and finally took a lead when a wide Hamilton point shot bounced off the end boards to Rich Peverley waiting in front. Peverley snapped the puck into the net for his second goal of the season and the Bruins had their slim lead.

Once the Sabres had the lead Cody Hodgson added to it with an insurance goal halfway through a third period dominated by Buffalo.

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

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Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic.