The Boston Bruins regrouped in the third period to score three-unanswered goals and beat the Buffalo Sabres tonight at the KeyBank Center.
The Bruins extended their win streak to six games and are 5-0 against the Sabres this season.
Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Matt Grzelcyk each registered a goal and an assist in the win. Defensemen picked up five points on the night and the only line that didn’t register a point was the fourth line.
“All four lines eventually found their game,” Bruce Cassidy said.
It certainly wasn’t the best start for the Bruins. The first period got off to a sloppy start and the Bruins found themselves on the defensive end.
There was a scary moment as Charlie McAvoy seemed to be hurting on a blocked shot, but alas it only kept him out for four minutes before he was back on the ice for the power play.
Marchand gave the Bruins the lead again tonight at 12:36 of the first period.
Pastrnak found Mike Reilly at the left point for a one-timer towards Dustin Tokarski. His rebound came out to Marchand along the goal line where he buried the second effort with a quick shot towards the opposite corner as Tokarski tried to dive on the play. 1-0 Bruins.
Overall, the period was low energy. The Bruins’ power play had no sense of urgency and couldn’t get anything going. The penalty kill did shut down Buffalo, as they had zero shots on their chance and Marchand sent Curtis Lazar up ice on a nice shorthanded attempt.
The Bruins outshot the Sabres 14-7 in the first. Patrice Bergeron and Taylor Hall had three shots apiece.
The Sabres tied the game at 5:27 of the second period.
Anders Bjork picked the puck up along the boards and found Arttu Ruotsalainen in the slot for a quick shot just over Jeremy Swayman’s right pad. 1-1 game.
The Bruins took the lead at 12:50 of the second period.
Off the face-off, Grzelcyk picked up a loose puck, and from the right point, and sent a wrist shot towards Tokarski that he missed with his glove. 2-1 Bruins.
Matt Grzelcyk gives the Bruins the lead.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 23, 2021
Rough goal for Buffalo to give up there. pic.twitter.com/62qs4CoRa7
Despite leading 2-1 after the second period, it was another undisciplined 20 minutes for the Bruins.
The Bruins accumulated four penalties in the second. Although the PK was strong with driving shots wide and getting sticks on pucks, it’s too much time spent shorthanded and eating up time on ice for guys like Bergeron and Marchand.
The Bruins took a two-goal lead at 4:55 of the third period.
Upon entry into the zone, Marchand slid the puck ahead to Pastrnak who then in the slot, passed to himself to get around Rasmus Dahlin to put a wrist shot over Tokarski’s blocker. 3-1 Bruins.
The Bruins cushioned their lead at 6:01 of the third period.
Charlie Coyle carried the puck up ice, entering the offensive zone where he backhanded the puck to Jake DeBrusk. Nick Ritchie was skating into the slot and DeBrusk hit him with a pass where he then circled into the left face-off circle and let a wrist shot pass Tokarski low blocker side. 4-1 Bruins.
Coyle hit 300 NHL points with the secondary assist on Ritchie’s goal.
The Bruins scored their third-unanswered goal at 18:02 of the third period.
Jeremy Lauzon hit the post and David Krejci picked up the loose puck in front for a wide-open goal. Final score: 5-1 Bruins.
The third period was much better for the Bruins.
First, there were NO PENALTIES.
Second, their early shifts had cleaner entries into the offensive zone and better puck movement. The Bruins had neutral zone possession and had more effective forechecking. Overall, they controlled the play and ended up outshooting the Sabres 38-30 during the game.
Swayman also continued to show his composure, coming up big at the end of the period as Tage Thompson had a little breakaway and challenged him with two shots. Then Swayman made a reaching play back as the puck hung out in the paint after an attempt by Jeff Skinner.
The Bruins are back in action tomorrow night against the Sabres at 7 pm.