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.
The guys have even more reaction to Deflategate and if this is actually a showdown between Bill and Roger.
Tom E. Curran calls the boys during his layover in Denver and gets right into the Deflategate craziness. Tom talks about his knowledge of the situation including his thoughts on if the NFL was indeed trying to set up and catch the Pats in the act. He gets into the relationship between Belichick and the league office, Belichick and Kraft and the actual game on Super Bowl Sunday.
Greg and Steve discuss the Deflategate debacle with callers and give their theories as to what went down in Foxboro last week against the Colts. Both guys think that Pats may be guilty of doing something to the balls, but that so do most other teams. Will Belichick and Brady be punished? Not if the NFL doesn't have proof, which it's looking more and more like they don't.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out of hardware, and give their Finals predictions
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
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Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly and 3B Pablo Sandoval sat down with Mut and Bradford. Joe Kelly had a few interesting proclamations. First he said that 95% of pitchers use some sort of grip enhancer, and then he said he was going to win the Cy Young. Pablo leaned over and promised 10 HR's, explaining to Joe that the trick is to set the bar low.
Mut and Rob are in on the Hot Stove Show this week and they're taking calls and talking about the Red Sox pitching as we are 5 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
Pierre McGuire talks about ways hockey players skirt the rules in the NHL and the development of Dougie Hamilton.
Pierre McGuire joins Lou, Christian and Tim to discuss the resurgent Bruins, the emergence of David Pastrnak, and former Boston College stand-out Johnny Gaudreau looking to trademark the name 'Johnny Hockey.'
We get our state of the B report from NESN's Jack Edwards, right in the midst of a 4 game winning streak and hot return for David Pastrnak.
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show discussing who was lying yesterday.
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney
After Tom Brady answered questions for a half hour about Deflate-Gate, the guys discuss whether or not they believe him.
Adam Schefter, ESPN, talks everything Deflate Gate with Lou, Christian and Tim on Patriots Friday
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNE
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart of PFW continue the dialogue and try and find some sanity in this sea of madness.
A caller named Jumbo from California raises a question that hasn't been talked about too much, what happens if it's determined that the Patriots aren't found responsible for the deflation of the footballs?
Mut and Lenny continue talking and taking calls on deflategate, as well as hearing the sound from Kirk Minihane's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor.
Mut and Lenny are talking deflategate and what impact it could have on the Patriots organization.
Chris and comedian Mike Mulloy recap the final Raw before the Rumble and preview the Rumble itself.
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Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out some hardware, and give their Finals predictions.
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After his emotional reaction on NFL Live following Tom Brady's press conference yesterday, Mark Brunell joins Lou, Christian and Tim about all things Deflate GateMore from this show
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