Linus Ullmark made 21 saves in his second win over his former team this season.
As it was the Bruins’ first game back to play since December 16, 2021, there was some rust and chemistry to be built with new lines. But despite trailing by two heading into the final frame, the Bruins rallied to find net presence and the new forward combinations found their rhythm.
The Bruins outshot the Sabres 41-24 overall, but the Sabres capitalized on their chances early on which dug the Bruins into a hole.
The Bruins started the first period with dominant offense and quickly got a power-play opportunity.
The first power play of the game built solid momentum for the B’s. Despite not capitalizing on it, there was good puck movement and quality chances from both units. That energy carried over into the next few shifts and gave each line good looks.
Although the Bruins outshot the Sabres, a defensive-zone breakdown gave Buffalo an early lead.
Craig Smith tied the game early in the second period, but a goal from Jeff Skinner midway through the frame took some energy out of the building.
The B’s struggled on the power play in the second period and found themselves on a 5-on-3 penalty kill. Although they survived that kill, a late man-advantage put the Sabres up 3-1 on a goal from Alex Tuch to end the middle frame.
While the game had all the makings of a typical “Bruins get way more shots on net than their opponent but still can’t win” loss, the Bruins showed resilience and battle back in the third period.
Nick Foligno crashed the net on a great drive by Jake DeBrusk to get the Bruins within one and then Taylor Hall capitalized on a 3-on-2 to have the game tied five minutes into the third period.
Foligno’s goal was his first as a Bruin.
The team held the Sabres to three shots in the first half of the third period and outshot them them in that time. Both sides had some chances in the final minutes, but the game ultimately headed to overtime.
Just 34 seconds in, Charlie Coyle netted the game-winner and gave the Bruins’ their first two points of the new year.
Here are the goals period-by-period:
The Sabres opened the scoring at 6:33 of the first period.
Brett Murray cycled low along the outside of the left-wing circle to find Vinnie Hinostroza in the high slot where he put a one-timer past Ullmark who was screened by Foligno. 1-0 Sabres.
The Bruins tied the game at 3:47 of the second period.
At the top of the paint, Smith found Brad Marchand’s rebound where he put a diving backhander past Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen. 1-1 tie game.
The Sabres took the lead at 11:32 of the second period.
Skinner found the loose puck from Tuch’s shot to beat Ullmark near-post and past his glove. 2-1 Sabres.
The Sabres extended their lead at 19:11 of the second period.
On the power-play, Peyton Krebs backhanded a pass to Tuch in the slot for a quick shot top-shelf past Ullmark’s blocker. 3-1 Sabres.
SLOW THAT BABY DOWN— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 1, 2022
Peyton Krebs, what a vision pic.twitter.com/Fdw0WD3lEH
The Bruins cut into their deficit at 3:24 of the third period.
Off of DeBrusk’s drive to the net, Foligno crashed the net and picked up DeBrusk’s rebound for a backhander top-shelf. 3-2 game.
Throw your hands up if you just scored your first goal of the season pic.twitter.com/G1kDRnWc5E— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 1, 2022
The Bruins tied the game at 4:41 of the third period.
On a 3-on-2, Hall carried the puck into the slot where he released a wrist shot top-shelf over Luukkonen’s glove. 3-3 tie game.
The Bruins scored 34 seconds into overtime to win the game, 4-3.
Marchand found Coyle skating into the slot where he fired off a quick shot over Luukkonen’s glove. Final: 4-3.
The Bruins travel to Detroit tomorrow for a 1 pm matinee against the Detroit Red Wings.