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Bruins vs. Sabres 2/25/18 RECAP: Bruins can’t buy a goal, lose 4-1

A listless team effort spoils Rick Nash’s debut for the Black and Gold.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Just one of those nights...

First Period:

Boston went after the Sabres with everything they had, but the Sabres also kept having a nasty little streak of attacking certain lines with strong forechecking and making them pay for mistakes.

Finally the ice was broken in the final 5 minutes of the period, as right out of a penalty kill, the Bruins got caught up in their own end, nobody knew who was covering who, and before you knew it, Benoit Pouliot was able to pot home a rebound with a wide open net. 1-0 Sabres.

Ugly shift by the Bergeron line, and a disastrous shift by the 2nd pairing. Not to long after this, Patrice Bergeron would finish this period early, giving all of us a scare.

Good thing too, he didn’t need to see this miserable penalty kill not too long after this goal where the Sabres kept total control of the puck for the entirety of it and Kyle Okposo got it and shot the puck right past a screened Khudobin. 2-0 Sabres.

Just another one of those nights...that Boston happens to be bringing together with alarming regularity.

Second Period:

Things looked up! Boston dominated some incredible stretches of this period! Whole minutes of offensive zone time! Patrice Bergeron wasn’t as badly hurt as previously thought!

Did the Bruins capitalize? Yeah! Once!

Charlie McAvoy got his 7th of the year on a nifty Pastrnak feed! Bruins get on the board but it’s still 2-1 Sabres.

...aaaand the Bruins continue to look dead in their skates, and Evan Rodrigues takes full advantage of that by blasting the puck past Khudobin. 3-1 Sabres.

Juuuuuust one of those nights...

Third Period:

Marco Scandella as a power play finished up got a weird little shot through as everyone looked gassed and kind of defeated. 4-1 Bruins. Not sure Khudobin ever saw it, but that was a very easy save if he did.

From there, Boston tried their damnedest to get another goal from this game, but it was clear that wasn’t going to happen tonight. Bruins lose 4-1, and limps home.

Because it was just another one of those nights in a really bad road trip.

Game Notes:

  • Boston absolutely should’ve been able to cash in on at least one of those long, extended sequences in the second period. It is inexcusable for a team with an offense like this to fall short like that.
  • Dobby didn’t have a great night, especially with how slow and plodding the net-front defense was in front of him, if it even existed in stretches. Poor dude couldn’t catch a break...or a puck.
  • Brandon Carlo getting sat was earned, and I sincerely hope for his sake and the team’s sake he learned something because yikes, his replacement was not an improvement, 2nd pairing in general had a pretty rough night. Krug did a lot of power play time, to no avail, and Adam McQuaid did a lot of penalty kill time. That ended poorly as well.
  • McQuaid - Miller was a pairing that occasionally happened on penalty kills during this game. It was created out of necessity, and not necessarily because that was their first idea. It also stank, to the point that any time these two were out there, the Sabres had full control of the puck, and scored twice on them. No more of that, please!
  • Y’know if McAvoy shot more, he’d probably have way more goals than he does right now. The guy’s got a rocket release.
  • Yet another point for Marchand and Pastrnak. It’d be great if they could get an actual goal every once in awhile to pitch in during frustrating games like these, this line appears to be suffering while Bergeron suffers.
  • Rick Nash! He did pretty well tonight, 5 shots on goal (a team high), well above 50% in CF% (y’know, because he shot the puck), rang the post once, definitely looked like he was getting along pretty well with David Krejci. And all that in the mere 8 hours he was officially a member of the roster by the time the game had started. Once he’s got at least another practice at home in him, I think he’ll be much better against Carolina.
  • Multiple sequences gave the impression Boston looked mentally exhausted after a 100mph game against the Leafs. They just looked tired and wanted to go home after a grueling trip. A day off, and a solid, hard practice was all it took last time to snap a funk last time, so write the weekend off, and start over after the deadline. Cassidy can get these guys back into shape.
  • And even then, Boston basically never gave an inch possession-wise except for select, disastrous sequences! They got plenty of high-danger chances on Johnson! And it was just one of those nights.
  • Maybe the Bruins just wanted to give Chad Johnson a solid win?

Bruins are back in action on Tuesday, with Carolina showing up at TD Garden. The game starts at 7pm EST.

See you there.