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Another One Bites the Dust: Sabres Offense, Defense, and Goaltending All Absent Against Bruins

Score: Bruins 7 | Sabres 0

Shots: BUF 26 | BOS 25

Buffalo Sabres Goals: None

Boston Bruins Goals: Patrice Bergeron (26), Garnet Hathaway (11), Jake DeBrusk (22), Hampus Lindholm (10), David Pastrnak (48-PP), Charlie Coyle (13), Charlie McAvoy (6)

Minus-1: Welp, That Didn’t Take Long

15 seconds from the opening faceoff, the Bruins found the back of the net a little too easily to snag the early 1-0 lead. Longtime Buffalo enemy, winger Brad Marchand, fed the puck from behind Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and between his legs to the front of the net. Patrice Bergeron would then take the puck to release a quick slapshot in what was honestly a really great goal.

Unfortunately for Sabres fans, that was not the only time the buzzer would sound in favor of the visiting team in the first period – or any period for that matter.

In six shots on goal in the fist, the Bruins scored three goals. Where was the defense, you ask? Absolutely nowhere to be found.

Garnet Hathaway netted the second goal thanks to a long pass from his team’s defensive zone. After a bounce off of the boards, Hathaway zoomed right past four Buffalo skaters, including Rasmus Dahlin who simply could not catch him.

Tomas Nosek and Kyle Okposo received roughing penalties following a brief scrum halfway through the period to open up the ice with a little four-on-four action. Spoiler alert: this did not benefit the home team. Just a second after the penalties expired – and after some horrendous zone coverage by Buffalo – Boston waltzed right into scoring their third and final goal of the period…and they made it look effortless once again. Although Jake DeBrusk scored the goal, it was really Charlie Coyle who set it up beautifully with a pass right in front of the net. DeBrusk’s goal – which soared past the glove side of UPL – made it 3-0 as it would stay going into the first intermission.

The Sabres even had a few power play opportunities in the first 20 that could have easily kickstarted their comeback, but alas, they could not connect with the back of the net.

Minus-2: Salt in the Wound

During the first few minutes of the second period, Tyler Bertuzzi found the back of the net for the fourth time of the afternoon. However, it was quickly ruled a “kicking motion” and the scoreboard reverted back to 3-0. This could have acted as a turning point for the Sabres’ offense, but here is another spoiler alert: it did not. The Bruins made it 4-0 later in the second period after DeBrusk carried the puck through the neutral zone, glided behind UPL, and found defenseman Hampus Lindholm in front of the net.

In what must have been an attempt to ignite some offense, Don Granato moved Jeff Skinner back on a line with Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch about halfway through the game, but it mattered not as the Bruins continued to dominate through the full 60 minutes, winning 7-0.

Plus-1: The Workhorse from Whitehorse

The Sabres obviously looked lost and uninspired today. Among those who stood out, though, was Dylan Cozens as one of the few to show a lot of grit and heart. Late in the second period, the center fought back after a cheap slash from Boston’s Trent Frederic. Cozens’ gloves flew off first and countless punches were thrown – clearly the result of a frustrating game for the home team – but it was at least fun to watch:

Final Thoughts

There were plenty of takeaways after today’s discouraging loss. To start, a team simply cannot win without scoring (the Sabres now have just a mere two goals in their last two games). Defense was clearly nonexistent, too, but perhaps the biggest takeaway today – if you did not already think this – is that UPL just ain’t it.

What else can be said at this point? It was a Boston bloodbath.

Three Stars:

1. Jake DeBrusk (1G, 3A)

2. Patrice Bergeron (1G, 2A)

3. Jeremy Swayman (26 saves; 4th shutout of season)

Talking Points