The game took a quick start on Thursday night when the Boston Bruins faced the Buffalo Sabres away in Buffalo, New York. Having this matchup being the first in the season, some teams might not know how they stack up against one another. However last night’s game was different due to the fact that Buffalo was on a twelve game losing streak prior to it therefore, it is safe to say Boston felt strong heading in.
Boston proved this early on with a quick goal by Greg McKegg as he scored a tip-in off a shot by Matt Grzelcyk. However, the Sabres with great effort managed to come back up and tie in the second as Kyle Okposo scored a short handed goal while his teammate Cody Eakin served two minutes for hooking Brad Marchand. Obviously, this was not something that the Bruins were expecting and being a leading team in the standings against one at the complete bottom, this was a mistake that had cost them early on. Additionally, due to the low rankings of the Sabres and their current losing streak, announcer Jake Edwards even went as far as to describe them as “the NHL’s version of a dumpster fire.” Unfortunately for Buffalo, this game did not help them to disprove that.
Moving on, a key player for the Bruins is David Krejci who had not only had a hand in three out of four of last night’s goals, but gained his 700th NHL point which earned him second star of the game right below star player David Pastrnak. Pastrnak gained his fourteenth goal tonight off of a 5-on-3 powerplay goal. His shot was so hard that it bounced out of the net just as hard as it went in. Luckily it was obvious that the goal had crossed the blue line so it was not a repeat of the Sharks versus Vegas game where Brent Burns managed to score, but it came out so fast no one knew and play continued for minutes after. I digress though, moving back to last night’s game, Pastrnak passed the puck to Krejci who skated up towards the point with possession as Pastrnak shifted down to the wing. With time and room, Krejci slid the puck down across the ice back to Pastrnak who took the one timer right off the pass. The puck then slid between the goal post and Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton at 4:44 in the third making the game 4-1. Bruce Cassidy had this to say about it, “again just doing some little things trying to turn pucks over on the forecheck, all those little things will lead to more opportunities for him offensively and thought he was, you know, trying to play a complete game tonight. Happy he scored obviously because it’s like I said, I mean he is a scorer, we measure him by that, but he really measures himself by that, so when he gets rewarded, I think it really fuels him, we just, so that’s good, hopefully he gets hot.”
Looking towards the Sabres, they did not help themselves whatsoever throughout the game. If I were to name their best player, I would actually give it to Hutton who despite facing 37 shots on goal and letting in four, he had no defense in front of him to help him out. Pastrnak was able to get his goal due to the fact that no one applied pressure to him or Krejci which resulted in the perfect shooting lane to the net. As Buffalo looks to continue in their next matchup against the Bruins they need to be on top of the Bruins players and disallowing any room between them and the goal. They also need to stay out of the box as they faced five power kills and allowed two goals in during that time. Without those penalties, this game could have had a chance of being a 2-1 game. Regardless of a win or not, 2-1 compared to 4-1 shows that they were at least in the game and had some fight to them. With Saturday night’s game approaching, I would expect another Bruins win as the Buffalo Sabres need more time to develop and train defensively before we can expect to see a win from them in the next coming days. Lastly, Bruins Player Trent Frederic received an unfortunate lower body injury from blocking a shot that caused him to not return back to the game. Bruce Cassidy added that his injury is “day-to-day.”