Seguin buffaloes Sabres

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Seguin buffaloes Sabres

By Jessica Camerato & Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins extended their winning streak to five games with a 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, who also entered the game winners of four straight, on Saturday night at TD Garden.

The Sabres (10-6-0) struck first, as Thomas Vanek scored his 11th goal of the season just under six minutes into the first period. Jason Pominville assisted on the goal, snapping Tim Thomas shutout streak at 80 minutes and 34 seconds. Thomas had not allowed a goal since November 1.

The Bruins (8-7-0) reclaimed the game in the second period. Rich Peverley, who missed the previous two games with an undisclosed injury, tied the game on an assist from Chris Kelly less than eight minutes into the period. Tyler Seguin then gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead off an assist from Brad Marchand, and Nathan Horton added another goal (assisted by Johnny Boychuk and Zdeno Chara) 16 seconds later. The goals by Seguin and Horton marked the fifth time in four games that the Bruins have scored two goals in less than 30 seconds.

The Bs continued their offensive attack in third period, doubling their total to six goals. First it was Kelly who scored from Peverley, with Seguin scoring from Patrice Bergeron and Marchand less than two minutes later. Less than three minutes after, Marchand scored a goal assisted by Seguin. The Sabres fought back with a power play goal from Marc-Andre Gragnani, assisted by Christian Ehrhoff and Luke Adam.

With two goals scored, Seguin matched his total of 11 from his rookie season. He and Marchand extended their point streaks to six and five games, respectively.

The Bruins will face the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday at TD Garden.

GOLD STAR: Tyler Seguin, Tyler Seguin. I hope you aren't tired of seeing his name in this spot because he'll certainly be back. Seguin had two goals in Boston's 6-2 Thursday night win. The scores give him 11 goals on the season, which matches his final rookie tally. Go ahead and double-check the calendar because it IS only November. Seguin is currently on pace for 61.

HONORABLE MENTION: It could be Brad Marchand (one goal, two assists), but let's not let one line have all the glory. Rich Peverley had a goal and a helper in his first game back from an undisclosed ailment. Peverley missed a few practices and Boston's previous two games (Islanders and Oilers) but showed no rust in his return. His goal tied the game at 1-all and opened the Bruins' offensive floodgate.

BLACK EYE: Benoit Pouliot has taken a step back from backward. He scored in Boston's 6-2 win over the New York Islanders, but followed up with a goose egg against Edmonton. Head coach Claude Julien no doubt felt he had to look elsewhere with only one point from Pouliot in 10 games; the winger sat on Level 9 Thursday as a healthy scratch in favor of Zach Hamill.

TURNING POINT: Seguin's first goal, at 13:29 in the second period, gave the Bruins a 2-1 edge. It also triggered a trademark Boston quick-strike as Nathan Horton potted a wrister just 16 seconds later. The Bruins went on to score three more goals unanswered. Fun fact? Boston has scored two goals in less than one minute nine times this season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 30: goals Boston has scored in its five-game winning streak. The Bruins scored 22 times in its opening 10 games, a stretch in which the team went 3-7-0. This is the opposite of a coincidence.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "I just stuck around because I just want to say what a piece of expletive I think Milan Lucic is," spit Ryan Miller. The embattled Sabres goalie let this little gem go after the game, a clear reference to being taken down by Lucic in the first period. Once a netminder leaves his crease he can be hit by an opponent, but the wallop unleashed by Lucic -- after Miller came out to rob the Bruin of a breakaway -- drew a charging penalty. And Miller's unprintable ire.

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. 

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.