The Bruins avenged last month’s loss to the Sabres with a 3-1 win over Buffalo Sunday night at First Niagara Center.
Making his return from a shoulder injury, Brad Marchand got the Bruins on the board and scored his team-leading sixth goal in nine games this season when he took a feed from Andrew Ference and beat Ryan Miller from the top of the left circle. in the second period with Nathan Horton in front. The Sabres would tie it up on a goal from Tyler Ennis following a Bruins power play and a defensive breakdown in the Boston zone. With Dougie Hamilton stuck behind the net, Ennis was wide open in front to take a pass and deke before beating Anton Khudobin.
Though the ineffective power play halted the Bruins’ momentum throughout the first two periods, the B’s finally clicked on the man advantage in the third period to take the lead. Chris Bourque’s wrist shot from the point hit somebody’s leg and went wide off the end boards and bounced in front. With Miller focused on Brad Marchand in front, Patrice Bergeron raced to the puck and sent it in for the his second goal of the season. Milan Lucic added an empty-netter with 48.6 seconds remaining.
With the win, the B’s improved to 8-1-1 on the season with 17 points, their best start through 10 games in history. Their point total puts them two behind the Devils Devils, who beat the Penguins Sunday night to give them 19 through 12 games. Khudobin, who made 24 saves on 25 shots, improved to 2-0-0 on the season.
The Bruins will return to the Garden to face the Rangers on Tuesday night.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- With the shuffling of the top six forwards, it was easy to focus more on how the Milan-Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin line would fare, but Nathan Horton proved that he’s going to have an impact no matter where he’s playing. The line of Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and Horton was absolutely buzzing in the first period. One chance for the line came midway through the period Horton was denied on a shot from the high slot before racing to the front of the net to be his usual disruptive self. The final minute of the period also saw the trio pepper Ryan Miller with the Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid pairing contributing as well.
- There was nowhere to go but up, but the B’s had a better defensive showing than they did when the teams last met on Jan. 31. Zdeno Chara had his worst game of the season in that 7-4 loss, but was his usual self Sunday, even getting a shorthanded breakaway that came as the result of a 2-on-1 with Chris Kelly. Miller stopped him on a stickside wrist shot, but Chara wasn’t the only Bruin denied by Miller Sunday night.
- Credit Lucic for forcing pressure on Mike Weber to send the puck out in the Sabres’ zone in the third period, resulting in they delay of game penalty that yielded Bergeron’s goal. The Krejci line didn’t look as impressive as the Bergeron line Sunday night, but that play helped give the B’s the lead in a game that shouldn’t have been as close as it was.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Miller was even better than usual and was the difference between the close game it was and the blowout it could have been. The veteran netminder robbed the Bruins on a number of occasions, perhaps most notably with a glove save on Marchand in front after the Bruins’ forward intercepted a pass from Thomas Vanek. He also robbed Bergeron late in the third period with an acrobatic kick save.
- The B’s went 0-for-3 on the power play in the second period (including an unsucessful 5-on-3), thus eating time off what was otherwise a strong period for the B’s offensively. The Sabres’ lone goal came with the Bruins’ power play unit still on the ice.
- Not necessarily something that went right or wrong, but Shawn Thornton and John Scott can get along after all. The two didn’t have a run-in when first on the ice together early in the first, and when there was a scrum in front of the Bruins’ net following a shot from Scott, Thornton held Scott back as the situation was diffused amicably. The only thing to come from that first-period scrum was a bit of shoving between Daniel Paille and Patrick Kaleta, but there wasn’t a fight until Gregory Campbell and Kaleta dropped the gloves later in the period.
- Speaking of that fight, Campbell didn’t exactly win, but he did lose decidedly. Campbell challenged Kaleta after the Buffalo forward finished his hit a bit late on Dennis Seidenberg in the neutral zone. That led to a fight that saw many punches landed on both sides, but the Sabres got the better of it, both because Kaleta landed more and because Campbell was assessed an instigator penalty to put Buffalo on the man advantage.
Former Patriots safety and current NBC Sports analyst, Rodney Harrison, spoke about the Patriots offensive line struggles. He talked about being hated in league and hating Jerry Rice and Randy Moss at points in his career. He thinks Josh McDaniels needs to get Brandon LaFell involved, and what to expect from Darrelle Revis going forward.
We check in with Big Vince Wilfork on a Patriots Monday and get his take on the defense's progression, his interception, his teammate Darrelle Revis and playing Monday Night Football in KC.
We check in with the head coach for his reaction to the Patriots win against Oakland, the offense's struggles, Julien Edelman, and playing in KC on Monday Night.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Joe and Dave talk with David Ortiz after he hits two home runs to propel the Red Sox to an extra-innings win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Ben Cherington discussed the debut of Castillo and his thoughts on Jeter.
As the season winds down, We check in Sox skipper John Farrell as we await the Boston debut of Rusney Castillo.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Gerry and Kirk go at it on whether or not Brady is starting to decline.
The guys opened the show discussing the latest on the Ravens and Steve Bisciotti.
It appears that Mookie Betts is the front-runner to be the lead off hitter for the Red Sox in 2015. But where will he play? And who gets traded? The guys talk about getting younger and re-visit the Sox making a play for Giancarlo Stanton.
A reporter quits LIVE on the air in hilarious fashion. The details of Rob Bironas' death are starting to emerge. High School football player Apollos Hester gives an uplifting post-game speech for the ages.
We check in with Tedy Bruschi on a Patriots Monday for his reaction to the Patriots struggles, Julien Edelman and his strong comments about his desire to see Roger Goodell lose his job.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Jerry Thornton joins Dino and Kirk for the second edition of Breaking Balls. They dive into a variety of topics including their feelings about polarizing Boston sports media members.
Your beloved hosts are joined by WEEI.com Bruins reporter DJ Bean as well as producer of the Dennis & Callahan Show, Craig "Sausage" Sawisch. Support America: Support Your Local Post Office
Dennis, Callahan and Minihane make their podcast debut. This week's topics include Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Jenny Dell and some discussion on people we've encountered with the worst breath.
The defense was forced to make a stop in the last minute of the game to preserve the 16-9 victory on Sunday. The offense had no rhythm again and struggled in the red zone. The offensive line looked poor again. Lou, Christian and Tim talk about the win that looked like a loss, and what this team needs to do to improve.More from this show
Dino, Kirk and Thornton opened the show discussing an ugly win by the Patriots.More from this show