BUFFALO Here are fifteen thoughts from the third period with the Bruins falling to the Buffalo Sabres by a 6-0 score after 60 minutes of action at the First Niagara Center.
1) Tough first 20 minutes for Johnny Boychuk and Zdeno Chara, who were on ice for both of Buffalos goals in the first. The first goal allowed was a tough bounce off Gregory Campbells raised stick after a Christian Ehrhoff point shot, but the second score was Boychuk and Chara getting turned around in their own zone by Ville Leino and Jason Pominville. Tough night so far.
2) Congrats to Shawn Thornton for his 100th career NHL fight with Cody McCormick just minutes into the first period. It appeared that McCormick asked to dance and both players got a couple of strong shots before the fight quickly ended.
3) Tuukka Rask fighting the puck a bit. Some odd-looking save attempts and several tough rebounds right around the net aside from the two goals allowed on nine shots. Looks like the three-game losing streak could become a four-game losing streak if hes not careful.
4) Lousy non-goal call on the Bruins early in the game. It appeared that Milan Lucic had redirected a puck over the goal line, but it was waved off due to Rich Peverley's goalie interference on Ryan Miller. Miller was outside the crease and there was little contact between Peverley and the Buffalo goaltender on the play. Clearly there is some sensitivity to Miller against this Bruins team after the Lucic incident earlier this year, but that was a blown call that cost Boston a needed goal in the early going.
5) Patrick Kaleta started a fight with Milan Lucic at the face-off circle, got a couple of Lucic right-handed bombs to his face before he crumpled to the ice and then raised his hands as if victorious while skating the penalty box. Perhaps Kaleta was celebrating A) the fact he didnt get killed by Lucic or B) that he baited Lucic into leaving the ice for five minutes in a trade-off won by Buffalo. Either way Kaleta still looked dumb wearing that visor and starting a fight.
1) Tuukka Rask appeared to be fighting the puck in the first on a series of bad rebounds, and he was yanked by Claude Julien after giving up Ville Leino backhander to start the second. Just not a sharp night for Rask in first game hes been pulled from by the Bruins this year. Some may remember Rask was also pulled in Buffalo last year.
2) Disinterested defense on a couple of Buffalo goals, 0-for-6 on face-offs and no presence on either side of the puck for David Krejci tonight. He certainly looks like hes taking some seriously passive disinterest in this game.
3) Shawn Thornton with two fights in this game and he looks genuinely angry at any number of things. He gets 17 PIMs for roughing, fighting and instigating while pounding Mike Weber with a series of left-handed punches after Weber went after Benoit Pouliot at the end of his shift.
4) Patrick Kaleta scored a goal for Buffalo to make it 4-0. A Kaleta goal can only be described as the greatest hockey insult that Buffalo can throw at an opponent. But all that being said, give Kaleta credit for being a factor tonight and for doing an adequate job antagonizing the Bruins while also producing.
5) Of Bostons 16 losses this season, ten of them have been against teams that are out of the playoffs. It certainly looks like it will be 11-out-of-17 for the Bruins after tonight. Theres a clear loss of focus against lackluster teams the Bruins cant get motivated to play against.
1) Claude Julien placed David Krejci with Milan Lucic and Benoit Pouliot by the end of the third period. It appears Krejcis time on the third line might be ending after a non-existent performance tonight vs. the Sabres.
2) Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk were minus-3 tonight and pretty clear that Chara was cajoled into a frustration penalty by Patrick Kaleta after a particularly abrasive forecheck against the Bs defenseman. Perhaps the worst game of the season for the Bs captain after a day off on Tuesday.
3) When Ville Leino has been one of the best players on the ice after a tough year in Buffalo, you know that its been a bad night for the Black and Gold. Not sure I can say a single player showed up aside from Shawn Thornton.
4) Give Shawn Thornton credit for going after Mike Weber while coming to the defense of Benoit Pouliot. Weber hit Pouliot as he was heading toward the bench and Thornton immediately went after Weber while dropping him with a flurry of left-handed punches. That was his second fight of the night and the reason hes the preeminent enforcer in the NHL.
5) Patrick Kaleta causing more troubles at the end of the third period while drawing penalties all over the ice. He managed to induce Milan Lucic into 15 minutes of penalties in the loss by simply being the aggravating rat role he plays for the Sabres. After his second nuisance act the Sabres game ops people played Sweet Caroline in a clear effort to taunt the team from Boston.