The Bruins rang in 2011 with a wild game in Buffalo as they lost 7-6 in a shootout to the Sabres at HSBC Arena. The game saw the Bruins jump out to a 3-1 lead just over five minutes into the game, pull their starting goalie with a lead, get goals from four different defenseman, give up 3 straight goals, surrender a game-tying goal in the final minute of the third period, allow Drew Stafford to score his second consecutive hat trick vs. the B's, and let every Buffalo shooter score in the shootout. You got all of that?
The Bruins jumped out to an early 1-0 lead 1:29 into the game on a goal by Andrew Ference. Marc Savard won an offensive zone faceoff back to Adam McQuaid at the left point. McQuiad slid the puck to Ference in the high slot and he fired a slapper past Ryan Miller for his 2nd goal of the season.
The Sabres knotted it up just 37 seconds later when Jason Pomminville's backhander from the slot found the back of the net.
Dennis Seidenberg capped off a wild first 3 minutes of the game by beating Ryan Miller 5-hole at 2:49 of the first period to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
The early offensive explosion continued as Brad Marchand deflected Johnny Boychuk's shot over Miller to extend the Bruins lead to 3-1 5:36 into the game.
The Sabres pulled to within one goal at 13:45 of the first period. Thomas Vanek appeared to trip up Andrew Ference as they were battling for the puck in the slot. Vanek lost the puck before Tim Connolly picked it up and fed it back to Vanek, who beat Rask for his 14th tally of the season.
The B's scored a shorthanded goal 30 seconds after Vanek's goal to create a 4-2 lead. Mark Recchi's outlet pass sprung Patrice Bergeron on the right wing. Bergeron carried the puck into the offensive zone and Zdeno Chara jumped up into the play. Bergeron's centering pass found Chara driving to the net in the slot and Chara's quick wrister made its way past Miller.
The Sabres added a seventh goal in the first period to make it 4-3 with 41 seconds left to play. Tuukka Rask made a stop at the right post, but could not cover up the puck before Drew Stafford jammed it home.
Drew Stafford got his second of the night when he tied up at 4-4 6:17 into the second period on a wrister from the right circle that beat Tim Thomas, who started the second period after Tuukka Rask was lifted by Claude Julien.
With Johnny Boychuk in the box for tripping, Jason Pominville got some puck luck to give the Sabres a 5-4 lead. Pominville's shot from the high slot was going well wide of the goal, but deflected off the skate of Dennis Seidenberg and in for Pominville's 2nd goal of the game.
Tyler Seguin tied it for the B's 3:08 into the third period. Daniel Paille's centering passing from the right wing was hammered home with a one-timer by Seguin in the slot. The assist by Paille was his 100th career NHL point.
Steven Kampfer gave the Bruins a 6-5 lead with 12:54 left in the third period. Tyler Seguin broke into the offensive zone and thread a perfect pass between two Buffalo defenders to the stick of Kampfer driving to the net, who finished off the give and go by burying the puck for his 2nd career goal.
With the goalie pulled late in the third period, Drew Stafford netted a goal to record his second consecutive hat trick against the Bruins with 28 seconds left to play. Stafford shoveled home a backhander from in front with plenty of traffic in Thomas's face to send the game to overtime.
The Bruins controlled play in the overtime session by out-shooting the Sabres 5-0, but could not come up with the game-winner in the five minute OT.
BUF Drew Stafford slowly skated in and beat Thomas 5-hole with a fore hand shot. 1-0 BUF
BOS Michael Ryder used his typical snap shot and it actually worked beating Ryan Miller low on the stick side. 1-1
BUF Thomas Vanek ripped a slap shot past Thomas 2-1 BUF
BOS Tyler Seguin's backhander was roofed over Ryan Miller. 2-2
BUF Tyler Ennis completely deked Thomas out of his jock and had an empty net to shoot at 3-2 BUF
BOS Zdeno Chara faked a slap shot and his weak wrister goes wide left of Miller's net. BUF wins
- The Buffalo Sabres honored Alex Mogilny and late hockey writer Jim Kelley in a pre-game ceremony. Mogilny and Kelley were inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame.
- HSBC Arena was cranking the Bruins goal music over the PA just before puck drop. It thought this was a good omen about 3 minutes into the game. I guess, I was wrong.
- All the markings for the World Junior Championships were on the ice at HSBC Arena. iT was weird see the large creases marked off during an NHL game.
- Adam McQuaid and Cody McCormick dropped the gloves and squared off just over midway through the opening period. McCormick landed more punches, but McQuaid scored the takedown wehn McCormick lost an edge.
- Jack Edwards is turning into Tommy Heinsohn…only without the knowledge or insight of Tommy.
- Tuukka Rask was pulled after giving up 3 goals on 16 shots in the first period. I don't really see the logic in pulling Rask there. Rask hasn't seen game action in 7 games. He needs to get his reps. I can see if he gave up 3 goals on 6 shots and they were down 3-0 after the 1st period, but the B's gave up 16 shots and they had the lead. Why throw Thomas in cold? Thomas gave up 3 goals on 19 shots and let all 3 shooters score in the shootout. It was not fair to Rask or Thomas to make that move. Thomas has played 7 straight games and has admitted that he is feeling fatigued. Why put him in cold when you have the lead?
- Tyler Seguin recorded his first multi-point game of his young NHL career.
- Crazy Stat: According to Jack Edward (who cited the Elias Sports Bureau), this is the first time in the history of the Boston Bruins that four different defensemen have scored in the same game.
- The Bruins out-shoot the Sabres 40-35.
- 12 regulation/OT goals is the most that have been scored in a Bruins game this season. The last time a Bruins game featured 12 or more goals was March 28, 2009 when the Bruins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-5 in Toronto.
- The Bruins are back in action on Monday when they travel to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs.
- For more on tonight's game, head over to Die By The Blade