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Friday, February 15, 2013

Well It's A Good Thing That The Bruins Won't See The Sabres In The Playoffs This Season

For whatever reason, in every sport there are always teams that aren't very good yet they match up well with certain quality opponents. The Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins seem to be living proof of that sloppy lede. Boston (8-2-2) suffered their second regulation loss of the season tonight, 4-2 against Buffalo (6-8-1) at the First Niagara Center. The Sabres improved to 2-1 against the B's so far this season (with two games to go) and they pinned that other regulation loss on Boston as well.

The weird part is that the Bruins had just won 3-1 on Sunday in Buffalo (sweet scheduling: half of the Bruins games have been against the Rangers and Sabres) but this time Anton Khudobin (22 saves; 2-1-0) couldn't get another road win, not that it was really his fault. For starters, Ryan Miller (30 saves; 6-6-1) was again spectacular with the help from his goal posts which the B's hit three times.

After Drew Stafford scored 3:24 into the contest, Boston seemed to be in control. Dougie Hamilton notched his first career NHL goal, on the power-play no less to tie it at one at 17:56 of the first period. David Krejci and Tyler Seguin had the assists on Hamilton's one-timed bomb.

The B's dominated in the second period (outshooting the Sabres 17-6) and they were rewarded with a lucky bounce of the puck. Hamilton intentionally hit the puck off the glass but it dropped to Rich Peverley who batted it out of the air for his second goal of the season. Dennis Seidenberg had the other assist at 2:29. Boston should have been up by a few goals but it still had to be fun to hear the miserable Buffalo fans boo their team off the ice after the second period ended.

Buffalo came out in the third period motivated though and just like on January 31 (when they closed on a 4-0 run), the Sabres ran the Bruins off the ice with three unanswered goals. Khudobin wasn't to blame, the defense in front of him couldn't have choked more in one period (slight exaggeration). Tyler Myers got to play in this game (after being a healthy scratch lately) and he tied it up off a rebound at 2:03. Christian Ehrhoff took advantage of a sloppy clearing attempt to pot the go-ahead goal at 9:02. Cody Hodgson added an insurance tally at 11:45 after Myers drove behind the net then flipped it to him. Ugly. The Bruins were outshot 10-3 in the frame.

This disappointing loss was the start of a five-game road trip for the B's, remember they won't be back at TD Garden until February 28 (cue the sad music). Next up, they're in Winnipeg on Sunday night (6 p.m., NESN). Boston sleepwalked through a 2-1 shootout win against the Jets (5-7-1) in the second game of the season at the Garden.

2/17: Lucic will miss tonight's game in Winnipeg, he returned to Boston to deal with an undisclosed personal matter. That means Jay Pandalfo will make his Bruins debut with Rich Peverley getting bumped up to the first line and Daniel Paille shifting to the third line.

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