Sabres snap 4-game skid with a 3-1 win over Atlantic Division-leading Bruins

Thu, Dec 7, 2023
NHL News (AP)

Sabres snap 4-game skid with a 3-1 win over Atlantic Division-leading Bruins

BOSTON (AP) - JJ Peterka, Tage Thompson and Victor Olofsson scored and the Buffalo Sabres snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

Devon Levi made 30 saves for Buffalo, which beat the Atlantic Division-leading Bruins for the first time in nearly a calendar year. The Bruins had won three straight against Buffalo. The Sabres last beat Boston on Dec. 31, 2022.

"Just focusing on stepping over the boards and winning your shift and beating the guy across from you," Thompson said. "From there, you get time and space to make plays."

Brad Marchand scored for Boston, which had its four-game winning streak halted. Marchand also recorded the 1,000th penalty of his career.

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"This game will humble you quickly and we saw that tonight," Marchand said. "It's about making sure you play hard and make life difficult on the other team."

Linus Ullmark finished with 33 saves, and the Bruins were outshot 35-29.

"We just didn't have any energy or life to us," said Boston head coach Jim Montgomery, noting there was concern coming into the game based off the stagnant vibe that was given off during Wednesday's practice. "I expect us to get better every period. I think we went from awful to poor to average."

A scramble in front of the Boston net was originally ruled a no-goal by the referee behind the net, then ruled a goal for Buffalo's Eric Anderson after the officials huddled. The play was reviewed for goaltender interference, with the Bruins winning the challenge with 5:18 left in the first period. The period ended with the Sabres outshooting Boston 19-5.

Early in the second period, Buffalo's Dylan Cozens won a faceoff in the Boston zone and Peterka scored his 11th goal of the season on a shot from just outside the circle.

"It was a good shot," Ullmark said. "Sometimes, you're in a good position and see it all the way. Sometimes, they utilize people in front of you in a good way and that was one of those situations. They want to create chaos and put a lot of bodies in front of you."

Buffalo made it 2-0 with three minutes left in the second. Former Bruin Connor Clifton sent a pass to Thompson, who scored his seventh of the season on a one-timer from just outside the hash marks of the left circle.

"I think (Clifton) saw me the whole way. Great pinch along the boards," Thompson said. "We locked eyes and he was probably waiting for me to open up. He made a great pass."

The Bruins cut their deficit in half 28 seconds later when Marchand's shot bounced off Buffalo defenseman Erik Johnson and into the net. The score made it five straight Boston goals coming off the Marchand's stick dating to last Saturday.

Boston spent considerable time in the Buffalo zone early in the third period before a developing 2-on-1 break resulted in Olofsson scoring his fourth of the season.

Anderson made his debut with the Sabres one day after being acquired from Columbus. Boston recalled two players before Thursday's game. Defenseman Mason Lohrei took the place of Derek Forbort, who was placed on long-term injured reserve with a lower-body injury. With Jeremy Swayman missing the game for the Bruins with an illness, goalie Brandon Bussi served as the backup to Ulllmark.

The Bruins played the majority of the third period without top defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who went to the dressing room after a heavy collision. Montgomery said afterwards that McAvoy suffered an upper-body injury.

"Obviously that's a gap that's hard to fill," said Boston forward Charlie Coyle when asked about Boston attempting to make a comeback without McAvoy. "If you're down a goal, he's a guy you want on the ice, specifically in the situation we were in tonight."

UP NEXT

Sabres: Host Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Bruins: Host Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.

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