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Friday, October 31, 2014

Losing to the Sabres is Simply Not an Option, Like Ever

Down 2-1 with less than five minutes left in regulation, the Bruins were on the verge of the unforgivable: losing to the Sabres (the worst team in the NHL). Thankfully, the universe was still in order as Boston (6-6) rallied to tie it on Brad Marchand's goal at 14:30 then he also won it at 1:20 of overtime at the First Niagara Center. Buffalo (2-8-1) remains winless at home this season while the Bruins picked up their third straight road victory.

This wasn't the 4-0 laugher on October 18 or what the other two meetings will probably turn out to be (Dec. 21 and March 17 both at TD Garden) but the B's will take two points however they can get them these days. With Torey Krug out (along with Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller) and Matt Bartkowski a healthy scratch, no less than three Providence Bruins defensemen had to be in the lineup: Zach Trotman, David Warsofsky and Joe Morrow (making his NHL debut).

The Sabres are definitely the team you want to see in dire situations like the one currently facing the Bruins with all their injuries and uninspired play. Niklas Svedberg improved to 2-2 this season and ironically, both wins have come vs. Buffalo. Tonight, he only had to make 13 saves which is a complete joke but then you remember that Buffalo had 10 shots in an a 4-0 loss in Toronto on Tuesday.

Buffalo actually led not once but twice (I just puked in my mouth) as Drew Stafford's power play goal at 5:12 of the second period made it 1-0. Adam McQuaid tied it up at 11:36, from Carl Soderberg and Marchand, for his first goal of the season. Quaider certainly isn't known for his goal-scoring ability so it makes sense that the goal came on an easy wrist shot that took a deflection off a Sabre to elude Jhonas Enroth (34 saves).

Tyler Ennis' wrist shot beat Svedberg at 16:25 of the second period. Boston finally woke up in the third period, outshooting Buffalo 16-4 (37-15 for the game) and they were rewarded for their strong play. Marchand's first goal (only his second of the season) was flukey as Eriksson threw it at the net and it went in off Marchand's glove (unintentionally of course). It was reviewed and remained a goal which was the right call.

Of their next five games, Ottawa (5-2-2) looks like the only good team that the fortunate Bruins will have to face. The Senators come to TD Garden on Saturday night (7, NESN) for their first meeting of the season with their Atlantic Division foe.

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