There is something about the Boston Bruins that brings out the best and worst of the Buffalo Sabres. For the second time this season the Sabres dominated the Bruins but failed to score goals and made mistakes that cost them. The Sabres fell 4-1 to Boston on Monday night at HSBC Arena despite out-shooting them 45-21. The game was eerily similar to one month earlier when the Sabres out-shot the Bruins 46-22 on November 10th. In November it was Tim Thomas in net for the Bruins and Monday it was Alex Auld who frustrated the Sabres. The cast was different but the Story the same as the Sabres once again fall below .500 at 13-14-1.
As for the game Monday night it will be a game that defenseman Toni Lydman would like to forget quickly. I get the feeling that Lydman will have nightmares about this one for awhile. Lydman assisted on not one but two Boston goals with awful giveaways in the Sabres zone. The two giveaways helped Boston to take a 3-1 first period lead, a lead they would never relinquish. The Sabres goal was scored by Jaro Spacek on the power play. It was the seventh goal of the season for Spacek, who seems like a completely different player than he was a season ago. Paul Gaustad and Tim Connolly were credited with the assists.
There was no scoring in the second although Buffalo out-shot the Bruins 20-5 but Alex Auld was magnificent between the pipes keeping Buffalo off the board. The Bruins would add an insurance marker from Glen Metropolit in the third and hung on for a 4-1 victory in Buffalo.
In addition to the poor play by Lydman, Ryan Miller did not have a banner night in goal for the Sabres. It's easy to lay blame on the giveaways and not the goalie but every once in awhile it would be nice to see the goalie bail out his team in a time of need. I seen Alex Auld make a few of those saves when Pominville and Connolly both had point blank chances. It is true that Auld probably couldn't hold Miller's jock, nor would he want to I imagine, but on Monday he was definitely better than Miller. Miller was beaten high on every goal except the final goal by Metropolit who scored on a backhand off of a rebound.
The Sabres will be right back in action on Wednesday when they host the NY Islanders at HSBC Arena. The Islanders won the previous two meetings betwwen the two teams that came on back-to-back nights to start off the season in October. I anticipate the Sabres have not forgot those two games and can't be pleased at the outcome on Monday night so look for them to have a lot of energy.