BUFFALO It wasnt nearly as contentious as their first meeting of the season, and perhaps thats why there was a different result.
The Bruins played a good road hockey game entering the third period with a tied score, and used an unlikely weapon, the power play, to take the 3-1 decision over the Sabres at the First Niagara Center.
The game-winner came midway through the third period after Mike Weber was whistled for a penalty, and the Bruins new top PP unit of Zdeno Chara, Rich Peverley, Patrice Bergeron, Chris Bourque and Brad Marchand took the ice for Boston. Bergeron won an offensive zone face-off, Bourque wound up and fired wide left with a point shot that caromed off the end boards right back to Bergeron as he moved to the net.
The Bruins center fired the puck past Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller, and the Bruins had all they would need to give them only one regulation loss in their first 10 games of the season and a three-game winning streak following their loss to the Sabres two weeks ago.
The Bruins had taken a lead in the second period when Brad Marchand snapped his team-leading sixth goal of the year past Millers glove hand. Fired up by some track-talking with Steve Ott, Marchand moved his glove to his lips to give a Shh! motion to the Sabres bench after his score.
The Sabres capitalized on a woeful Bruins power play in the second period by tying the score right after Bostons PP time had concluded. A Bruins defensive breakdown left Tyler Ennis all alone in front of the net and he managed to get a puck past Anton Khudobin after a couple of quick fakes got the goalie flopping in the crease.
Milan Lucic added the empty net goal late in the third to clinch things for the Black and Gold.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while refraining from shoving any world leaders today.
*Larry Robinson and the San Jose Sharks are parting after working together for five seasons, per FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz.
*Speaking of Kurz, he also has a Sharks mailbag on which players are most likely to be traded out of San Jose during the offseason. Somebody has got to go, and you’d think it would be somebody without much tread left on the tires.
*Moving on to other topics, Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler said that losing a Game 6 in the Western Conference Finals to the Nashville Predators was the “toughest” loss of his career. I don’t see how this is possible. You see, Kesler is no slouch at falling short. In fact, he’s a tremendous loser, having dropped a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at home in 2011 as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, and also having lost a Gold Medal Game for Team USA at the hands of Sidney Crosby and Canada in 2010 in overtime that was also played in Vancouver. It took a simple Google search to find an actual postgame video of Kesler crying into his hockey glove on the bench in the aftermath of Game 7 vs. the Bruins. So, pardon me if I’m not buying Kesler talking about a conference finals loss as the worst of his career when he was one home win away from being a Stanley Cup champion in Game 7, and proceeded to lose like he’s done many, many times in the most important games of his career. Dude, you’ve been through tougher losses. Trust me on that one.
*The idea of trading Alex Ovechkin might be gaining some traction with the Capitals fan base, but it doesn’t seem to be based on reality at this point.
*The pride of Melrose, Mass, Conor Sheary, delivered in Game 7 for the Penguins as they return to the Stanley Cup Final in back-to-back seasons.
*Bobby Ryan said his strategy for success in the playoffs, at least in part, was staying off the phone. Maybe he ought to try that a bit more during the regular season.
*Congrats to the folks at NBC for another successful Red Nose Day that featured a reunion of the “Love Actually” cast among other things.