Kalman: Bruin Play To Near Perfection In Win Over Sabres
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BUFFALO, NY (CBS) – It probably just seems like the only off night the Bruins have had during the 2013 season was the night Mother Nature didn’t allow them to play the Tampa Bay Lightning, Saturday at TD Garden.
But the rest was brief, as the team took the ice in Buffalo on Sunday night.
The B’s played their game plan nearly to perfection to squeak out a hard-fought 3-1 road victory over a division rival.
The Bruins last three games have been road win over Northeast Division opposition, and they have allowed just two goals against.
Here are a few observations in the aftermath of Boston’s revenge-win against the Sabres:
-Anyone complaining the Bruins didn’t go after John Scott’s head in Buffalo? Instead of chasing a meaningless pound of flesh, the Bruins concentrated on firing pucks at Ryan Miller, who did his best Dominik Hasek impersonation – until he didn’t. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron made sure that Boston’s 38 shots at the All-Star netminder weren’t all wasted.
-As for Scott, he skated for 5:15 and was a complete non-factor. I’ll reiterate, unless a player of Scott’s ilk is guilty of a cheap shot, the best way to get revenge in to win a game.
-Shawn Thornton returned to action in minimal time after the concussion.
-The Bruins’ power-play drought, which only seemed like it dated to 2010, ended at 16 opportunities in a row. While Bergeron’s goal wasn’t a thing of beauty, to me that’s a positive sign. The goal was the product of a basic play (Rich Peverley’s faceoff win and Chris Bourque’s shot toward the net) and hard work (Bergeron tracking the puck off the glass before firing a one-timer). Maybe Bergeron’s goal will allow all of Boston’s power-play performers to breathe a sigh of relief and loosen up going forward.
-The Tim Thomas Era officially ended earlier this week when he was traded to the New York Islanders. But unofficially, the Thomas era ended when the Bruins realized that they could survive with Tuukka Rask as their No. 1 goaltender and Anton Khudobin as his backup. And so far Khudobin has rewarded that faith. Khudobin made 26 saves against the Sabres to improve to 2-0-0 on the year. It doesn’t look like the Bruins are going to miss much when Rask isn’t in the crease, never mind how much they’re not missing having Thomas in their organization.
Matt Kalman covers the Bruins for CBSBoston.com and also contributes coverage to NHL.com and several other media outlets. Follow him on twitter @TheBruinsBlog.