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Bruins 2 Sabres 1: Sabres Offense Struggles in Game Three Loss

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Game three followed the same blue print as game one but this time it was the Boston Bruins stealing a victory away from the Buffalo Sabres. The Bruins are now in the driver seat with a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with their second consecutive victory. If the Sabres thought this was going to be an easy series, the Bruins certainly have their attention now.

This was the third consecutive game the Sabres struck first on a wrister off the stick of Mike Grier. Raffi Torres showed he is more than just a grinder with a pretty pass onto the stick of Grier and Grier beat Tuukka Rask on a shot that he might have misplayed.

The Bruins struck back before the end of the period on a goal that looked eerily similar to the goal Rivet scored to beat the Bruins in game one. Andrej Sekera made a bad decision in the Bruins zone that set up an odd man rush and Vladamir Sobotka fed a pass to Dennis Wideman who was trailing the play. Wideman teed up a slap shot that beat Miller cleanly.

The Sabres had a chance to take the lead early in the second when Milan Lucic went to the box for high-sticking but the ferocious penalty kill of the Bruins continued to slow the Sabres less than potent power play. The penalty kill started the momentum for the Bruins and Johnny Boychuk gave them all the momentum with a crushing check on Matt Ellis at the Sabres blue line.

The Sabres escaped the second period with the score still tied and the teams traded chances throughout the third period. It was the Bruins that were able to get the goal in the third period on a great play by Mark Recchi. Recchi won a race to the puck and wisely took Tim Kennedy out of the play before retrieving the puck and feeding it to Patrice Bergeron who was parked just inside the right faceoff circle. Bergeron let the shot rip and beat Miller to give the Bruins a lead they would not surrender.

The Sabres showed some spunk in the closing minutes but Rask continued to frustrate the Sabres forwards to hold on for a key win in game three.

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Final Thoughts

 

  • I am surprised with the overreaction to this loss. The Bruins are a great defensive team and they proved tonight why they are difficult to beat. This game was more about how good the Bruins were instead of how bad the Sabres were.
  • While the entire team can't be faulted for this loss, Tim Connolly needs to find a way to create space for himself with the puck. The Bruins have effectively shut him down and he is the x-factor for the Sabres heading into game four.
  • It was nice to see Andrej Sekera show some spunk but his poor decision led directly to the Bruins first goal. Will Lindy Ruff make a change and go to Chris Butler in game four? It at least deserves some discussion.
  • Johnny Boychuk found himself the center of attention once again with a huge hit on Matt Ellis at the blue line. It was a good clean check by Boychuk and completely put the Bruins in control.