BOSTON – On Thursday evening the Boston Bruins played host to the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth of six meetings between these two Northeast division foes for the 2011-’12 campaign. The B’s were out to put a stop to a streaking Sabres team that has caught fire recently, in hopes of putting together a last ditch run for the playoffs. Boston was also looking to put together their first set of back-to-back wins since January 12.
Despite more than doubling the Sabres first period shot total, the Black and Gold found themselves down a goal as the two squads went to the rooms for the first intermission.
It was Buffalo captain Jason Pominville who would give his team a 1-0 advantage at the 16:39 mark of the opening frame when he beat Tim Thomas glove side with a slapshot from the left circle. The score would remain 1-0 through the end of the period despite a power-play for each team.
“I was able to let one go and it found a hole. It was nice to get the lead.” – Jason Pominville
The second frame would play out a lot like the first for a Bruins squad that continued to dominate play, but simply could not solve Buffalo’s back-up netminder Jhonas Enroth for the better part of the period.
The Bruins were finally able to break through when fourth line pivot Gregory Campbell would deflect a Shawn Thornton slapshot past the Sabres’ Swedish ‘tender to even the score at one goal a piece. The game-tying tally came as a result of a blueline turnover from old friend and former Canucks’ pivot Cody Hodgson.
For Campbell, it was his seventh mark of the season and his first since January 22 in Philadelphia. The goal also snapped a nineteen-game pointless streak for the B’s gritty centerman out of London, Ontario.
“Scoring hasn’t been easy to come by this year and in games like tonight and a lot of games that we’ve been in over the past month, secondary scoring can be very useful. And we put of lot of pressure on ourselves. I guess we’ve been getting chances and that’s a positive sign.” – Gregory Campbell
Boston out-shot Buffalo by a slim 9-8 margin during the middle frame and held a 22-14 SOG advantage over the course of the first forty minutes of action.
In the third period, the B’s came out with a bit more pep in their step as they continued their quest for the ever-elusive two-game winning streak. At the 5:31 mark of the frame, it was sensational sophomore Tyler Seguin who would beat Enroth upstairs, but was unfortunately denied by the stone cold iron of the crossbar. It was the second time of the game that the B’s had been denied a goal by one of the three metal bars surrounding the twine after a Dennis Seidenberg second period snapshot was also stopped by the left post.
After registering only three shots on goal in the first 11:32 of the third, Sabres bench boss Lindy Ruff opted to utilize his timeout. The timeout would not pay immediate dividends for Buffalo as only 1:24 later, the Bruins jumped ahead on Johnny Boychuk’s fourth tally of the season. The Edmonton native jumped on a loose puck in the Buffalo zone and blasted one past Enroth to give Boston it’s first lead of the night.
The B’s extended their lead 2:58 later when David Krejci capitalized on a 2-on-1 break to pot his 18th goal of the campaign.
Boston would hold on to their lead as time expired in the third to pick up a 3-1 victory and record their first set of back-to-back wins since early January.
“You know it’s been a long time, we finally got it. It feels good, I think we deserve it – we’ve played well in the last few games. Even in some of our losses, we played well. But, even if you got to play the same way, then the wins are going to come. We got two in a row so it feels pretty good.” – David Krejci
“Well it’s been over a month now so for us to string back-to-back wins together, it helps our confidence as a team because we have been playing real well the last couple of games, and stringing together a couple of wins here was critical for us.” – Johnny Boychuk
Ben’s Three Stars:
2) Gregory Campbell (1 Goal)
3) Jason Pominville (1 Goal)
– The Bruins will be back in action on Saturday when they host Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at TD Garden. The Sabres will also take the ice on Saturday when they take on the Senators at the ScotiaBank Center in Ottawa.
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About the Author: Boston Bruins writer for Hockey Independent. Have written for The Hockey Guys and SB Nation Boston. Follow me on Twitter @_BWoodward or shoot me an email at BWoodward.HI@gmail.com.