The Boston Bruins went into the night with a nine-game win streak and looked to take it into the double digits to stay perfect for 'Movember' with a win in Buffalo
The Bruins visited the First Niagara Center in Buffalo to take on the Sabres in a rematch of the November 12th contest that ended with the Bruins taking the win and the Sabre goalie, Ryan Miller, knocked out of the game on a hit by Bruin winger Milan Lucic.
With the lack of response on the Sabres' part, they were looking to correct that in the game at home 11 days later. It didn't take long.
Buffalo's Paul Gaustad was opposite Lucic and asked if he wanted to dance right at the opening draw. Lucic obliged and showed him the Foxtrot, Cha-Cha and the Tango to send Gaustad to the ice with quite a few whacks.
Now that that was out of the way, on to the game...
In the first period, the Buffalo power plays came by some rough hockey as Brad Marchand made a hit on Nathan Gerbe and Gaustad nailed Marchand. That ensured a huge scrum with Adam McQuaid wanting a piece of Gaustad and Bruin Captain Zdeno Chara ending up with Robyn Regehr. Chara's size advantage easily took care of Regehr as Chara ended up flopping him to the ice.
Buffalo took advantage of the power play and capitalized in a big way.
The first power-play goal for Buffalo was scored by Christian Ehrhoff after receiving a pass by Drew Stafford to the point and lasering it past Thomas to open the scoring.
Just a couple minutes later, who else but Thomas Vanek came streaking in and scored yet another goal on the Bruins.Jason Pominville broke up the play in his own zone and raced up the ice. He made a cross-ice pass to Vanek who used Johnny Boychuk as a shield to beat Thomas.
The second period, Tyler Seguin scored early as the Bruins got a power-play goal of their own.
Rich Peverley was in the back end of the ice and passed it to Patrice Bergeron at the point. Bergeron made a point-to-point pass to Seguin who had the stick cocked and ready to fire. The shot whipped by Sabres goalie, Jhonas Enroth, who seemed to have no chance on it.
Chara came to Thomas' rescue as Vanek had Thomas down and out with a wide open left side of the net. Just as he shot the puck to the open side, Chara stuck his stick out and beat the puck to the goal line to preserve the gap.
About halfway through the middle frame, TJ Brennan, playing his first NHL game, got his first NHL goal and point. The Sabres regained their two-goal lead.
Just under five minutes later, Vanek laid out Marchand at the benches in the neutral zone, but the Bruins forward alertly got up and read the play. He headed into the Buffalo zone with the pass from Chara and sent it back to a streaking Seguin. Seguin then passed it to Bergeron who ripped it at the net.Enroth stopped it, but it redirected to his immediate left. Marchand was still skating into the zone and he was swinging around the back of the net when the puck was right in front of him.
Marchand made a wrist shot high and beat Enroth to put the Bruins within one.
Right after the goal, Marchand yelled at the Buffalo bench just before he celebrated with his team mates. Choice words at Vanek, no doubt.
Final frame was a lot of back-and-forth.
With Boston on the power play, Nathan Horton was stopped by Enroth and the puck shot straight out to David Krejci. Krejci passed it to Lucic, who sent it out to Chara in the slot. Chara leaned right into it to beat Enroth and tied the game at three with just 3:35 left in the game.
Overtime solved nothing, but there were some good chances on both ends. Both goalies kept the game going to a shootout. And what a shootout!
Enroth has not lost a shootout (5-0) and Thomas has been not so great (24-26).
Sabres- Vanek - Nope 0
Bruins - Seguin - Nope 0
Sabres - Nathan Gerbe - Nope 0
Bruins - Peverley - Nope 0
Sabres - Pominville - Nope 0
Bruins - Krejci - Nope 0
Extra Round One
Sabres - Derick Roy - Nope 0
Bruins - Bergeron - Nope 0
Extra Round Two
Sabres - Drew Stafford - Nope 0
Bruins - Benoit Pouliot - Yup!! 1
With the win, Bruins are just three more games to playing a perfect month.
As I have stated in earlier articles, when the Bruins play undisciplined, they let the game get away from them. When they have their heads in the game, their winning ways are sure to follow.
Next up, the Bruins are back home playing the Detroit Red Wings.
This is Cory Ducey saying "Hit Hard, But Keep It Clean."
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