BUFFALO The Bruins were braced for an angry bunch of Sabres, and simply rode out the emotion en route to a great game plan.
The Sabres settled their scores in the first period, took a quick 2-0 lead on a pair of power play scored and then watched as the Bruins chipped away before eventually taking a 4-3 shootout victory over Buffalo at the First Niagara Center.
Believe it or not, the Montreal Mystery Man Benoit Pouliot came away with the shootout winner in the fifth round of extra play.
Milan Lucic and Paul Gaustad tangled during their first face-off on the ice together, and Lucic pummeled a game Gaustad attempting to win back some respect after not fighting for his goaltender 11 days prior in Boston.
The power play strikes by Christian Ehrhoff and Tomas Vanek arrived while Zdeno Chara sat in the penalty box following a fight with Robyn Regehr, and his immense 6-foot-9 absence was missed on the penalty kill.
But the Bruins fought back in the second period with a Stamkos-esque one-timer from Tyler Seguin on the power play to halve the lead, and a great, hustling shift that made it a one-goal game headed into the third period. Marchand banged bodies with the much bigger Thomas Vanek in the center ice area, and then hustled into the offensive zone before roofing a rebound right in front of the net.
That led to the Chara power play goal in the third that tied up the game, and the eventual game winning shootout performance their third shootout win of the season.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while amazed, and alarmed, at any politician that would ever duck a town hall-style meeting with their constituents.
*Patrick Eaves had a close encounter of the hairy kind with the mighty Chewbacca during a recent visit to Disney. Let’s just say Eaves, Brent Burns and Chewie could all be from the same family tree.
*Good, long read on junior hockey scoring star Alex Debrincat, who Bruins fans will remember that Boston passed over to draft Trent Frederic at the end of the first round last summer. He’s scoring at the kind of levels that say he might be something special at the next level. Just saying.
*Wayne Gretzky jumps on the Florida Panthers telecast to chat about Jaromir Jagr, and jokes about what he’ll do if Jagr ever gets close to his NHL all-time scoring title.
*Pierre Lebrun has a list of NHL defensemen that are in demand ahead of the trade deadline, and it’s a fairly underwhelming list aside from Kevin Shattenkirk.
*If you’re looking for some good Blackhawks talk then you should check out the Blackhawks Talk podcast over at CSN Chicago.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bob McKenzie dropped into the NBCSN studios again this past week to chat about the NHL tweaking the bye weeks moving forward after watching them play out this season.
*People getting concerned about turning budding personal NHL rivalries into another “Ovechkin vs. Crosby” is perhaps the dumbest NHL hot take I’ve ever heard. The Ovechkin/Crosby rivalry was perfectly good and anything to draw attention to the NHL and its players is also good. This is the kind of thing said by somebody that I’m sure gets more super-excited by a bar graph showing a player’s effectiveness rather than watching what they’re actually doing on the ice.
*For something completely different: A really interesting look from a random date that Carrie Fisher took to the 1978 Oscars while palling around with the young, new stars of Hollywood.