It was always going to be somewhat unrealistic that the Buffalo Sabres would continue to score at their newfound 4.5 goals per game clip since the return of Jack Eichel. However, it was old foe Tuuka Rask who shut the home side down this afternoon, making 35 saves to lead the Bruins to a 2-1 win.
David Krejci had put the visitors ahead with five minutes to play in the first period, deflecting a shot from defenseman Brandon Carlo onto the crossbar and past Sabres starting goalie Robin Lehner for his fourth goal of the season.
The Sabres looked to have tied it with a couple of minutes to go in the second period, but captain Brian Gionta was adjudged to have made a kicking motion with his skate to guide the puck past Rask and the goal was disallowed.
Early in the third period, Patrice Bergeron kept his eye on the puck and knocked it in past a prone Lehner to put the Bruins up by two. However, Evander Kane responded with his first goal of the season, scoring off a great pass from behind the net by Sam Reinhart.
Rask then fended off a spirited comeback attempt, making seventeen saves in the final stanza to secure the win for Boston.
1. How will Brendan Guhle look in his first full NHL game?
The emergency call-up defenseman was impressive, looking very poised in playing 16:20, and ended up +1 with 7 shot attempts, 4 of which were on goal and 2 blocked shots.
Coach Dan Bylsma was happy with his performance, saying later -
“He certainly wasn't shy about using his skating, jumping up in the play. He was good in the game. Stepped right in.”
2. Can the Sabres maintain their goalscoring rate?
That would be a no, alas. The Sabres have traditionally struggled against Rask, and this season have only scored once against the Bruins in two games.
3. Is the game going to be won or lost on special teams?
Yes and no. The Sabres were mostly disciplined, giving up two penalties but kept the poor Bruins power play off the board. However, they failed to take advantage of their own three opportunities, including a penalty for holding on Rasmus Ristolainen.