Talking Points: Sabres 6, Bruins 0


Talking Points: Sabres 6, Bruins 0

BUFFALO In the greatest piece of evidence yet that the Bruins are experiencing some serious issues, the Black and Gold suffered their worst beating of the season at the hands of the Sabres Wednesday night.

The Bruins were robbed of a Milan Lucic goal on a bad goalie-interference call in the first period, then didnt respond at all to an aggressive, desperate Sabres bunch in a 6-0 loss at the First Niagara Center.

It's the 11th time they've lost a game to a team down and out of the playoff race -- they've only lost 17 games all year -- and that screams to focus problems against bad teams.

There was serious trouble brewing when the Bs defense was burned for goals by Christian Ehrhoff and Jason Pominville in the first period, and then Tuukka Rask was yanked in the second period after a Tyler Ennis score.

Lucic dropped the gloves with Patrick Kaleta, and Shawn Thornton fought twice attempting to keep the Bruins emotionally invested. But it was all for naught by the time Kaleta beat Tim Thomas with a five-hole goal to spot the Sabres a 4-0 lead heading into the third period.

All that was left was for the villainous Kaleta to act up in the final minutes of the third period and draw 10-minute misconducts from Lucic and Adam McQuaid during a line brawl donnybrook in front of the Boston bench.

The Bruins are now 3-4-1 in their last eight games and havent put two solid, victorious efforts together back-to-back since prior to Christmas.

GOLD STAR: Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves twice iand showed exactly what he was all about while so many of his teammates floundered. His first fight, against Cody McCormick, attempted to set the emotional table for the Bruins, and his second-period brawl against Mike Weber was a direct move to stick up for Benoit Pouliot. Weber had taken a run at Pouliot as Pouliot was headed to the bench for a line change and instead Thornton dropped the Buffalo defenseman with three overhand lefty punches. He also finished with three shots on net in 7:14 of ice time.

BLACK EYE: David Krejci was finally reunited with Lucic in the third period after failing spectacularly during the first two periods on the third line. Krejci was on ice playing matador defense for a pair of Buffalo goals, lost 8-of-10 faceoffs, and was thoroughly invisible at the offensive end of the ice. Krejci said he would act like a professional no matter where he was in the lineup, but he didnt appear to be giving an honest-to-goodness effort in the lopsided loss to the Sabres.

TURNING POINT: It was 2-0 at the end of the first period, and the Bruins had played solid hockey while battling through a horrendous call that waved off a Lucic goal due to goalie interference. But Rask was beaten on an Ennis backhander that made it 3-0 less than two minutes into the second period, and the roof effectively caved in after that. The Bruins are able to remain relatively close in all of their games due to structured defense and elite-level goaltending, and both of those qualities eluded them over the final two periods against Buffalo.

HONORABLE MENTION: Patrick Kaleta is a despicable rat, but give him credit for getting under the skin of his opponents. He was able to draw Lucic into a five-minute fighting major and a 10-minute game misconduct in separate incidents while also potting a backbreaking goal in the second period. Kaleta looked like a fool raising his hands in celebration after getting pounded by a series of Lucic punches in the first period, but he got his team emotionally invested into the game. Thats Kaleta filling the agitator role.

BY THE NUMBERS: Minus-3 The final plusminus total for Zdeno Chara in 6-0 loss to the Sabres his worst plusminus mark of the season and his worst since a minus-4 against the Caps on Nov. 5, 2010.

QUOTE TO NOTE: Its definitely been a while since we had a loss like this. Maybe its for the best and its a wakeup call that shows we need to be better. It shows us we cant take any team lightly no matter what the reason. Milan Lucic on making some sense of getting pounded by the Sabres, 6-0.

Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air a and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he allowed Brown to catch five of nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his jway from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up nine catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

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