The Boston Bruins lacked energy and urgency as they fell 3-1 to the Buffalo Sabres tonight at the TD Garden.
After a scoreless first period which saw the Bruins outshot 19 to 5 by the Sabres, Jim Montgomery expected a faster start to the second frame.
The Bruins had found themselves on the defensive for most of the first and couldn’t sustain any offensive zone coverage.
But he felt things “went from awful to poor” for his team in a low-energy showing after trailing behind 2-0.
The B’s bounced back when Marchand registered his fifth goal in three games, but that would be it.
Already down, the Bruins suffered another blow when they lost Charlie McAvoy in the third period. McAvoy left the game and did not return after taking an elbow to the face from JJ Peterka.
As the Sabres continued to beat the Bruins down the middle and won puck battles, the Bruins found themselves again with a two-goal deficit. Despite chances from Marchand, Charlie Coyle and David Pastrnak in the closing minutes with the extra attacker on ice, this W went to Buffalo.
Postgame, Montgomery said his team was not prepared for the game, and a poor pace and effort in Thursday’s practice carried over into the game.
He also said McAvoy had an upper-body injury and was unsure of his status. He did not have a chance to look at a replay of the hit.
The Bruins face the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. at home.
Here are the game’s highlights:
The Sabres opened the scoring at 1:18 of the second period.
Dylan Cozens won the face-off back to Peterka who at the top of the circle fired a wrist shot past Linus Ullmark’s glove. 1-0 Sabres.
The Sabres took a two-goal lead at 16:57 of the second period.
Connor Clifton found Tage Thompson in the high slot for a one-timer past Ullmark. 2-0 Sabres.
The Bruins bounced back at 17:35 of the second period.
Brad Marchand threw a pass out front which deflect over Devon Levi’s glove. 2-1 game.
The Sabres retook their two-goal lead at 11:16 of the third period.
On a 2-on-1, Victor Oloffson beat Ullmark blocker side. Final score: 3-1 Sabres.