Buffalo scored the 1st goal of the game, but that would prove to be their only as the Sabres fell to the Bruins 4-1 Friday night in Buffalo.
A 3rd period barrage of goals from Boston proved to be more than the Sabres could handle. Zdeno Chara netted the game winner just 29 seconds into the period on a wrist shot that had Sabres goalie Robin Lehner screened by members of both teams.
Ryan Spooner added another one midway through the period on a tough-angled shot that got through Lehner’s five-hole. Brett Connolly finished the scoring with an empty net goal.
David Legwand scored the Sabres’ lone goal, connecting after a Boston turnover behind their own net in the latter half of the 1st period.
Buffalo seemed to control the pace of play for the first two periods, grabbing the shot advantage and the crowd momentum. The Sabres power play failed to convert on a back-to-back-to-back opportunity in the 2nd period. They managed nine shots and cycled the puck well, but couldn’t get one past Jonas Gustavsson.
Matt Beleskey had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, while Spooner had two helpers in addition to his goal.
Lehner returned to net for the Sabres for the first time since the opening game of the year. He surrendered three goals, while making 27 saves, some of the spectacular variety near the end of the 2nd period.
Gustavsson dazzled in net all night for the Bruins, making 33 saves. Buffalo had ample chances throughout the game, but Gustavsson was there to answer for Boston.
Zemgus Girgensons left the game with an upper body injury for Buffalo and did not return.
The Sabres go at it again against the Eastern Conference best Washington Capitals Saturday night. Puck drop is set for 7:00 from the First Niagara Center.