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Sabres can’t solve Khudobin, Bruins

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Recap

Robin Lehner made 30 saves while giving up just a lone goal, but the Buffalo offense couldn’t find the back of the net in a 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night at the KeyBank Center.

Lehner posted his sixth straight game with a save percentage of .923 or higher, but the Sabres skaters could not salvage a goal against Bruins backup netminder Anton Khudobin. The 31-year old Russian goalie recorded his first shutout of the season, the sixth of his nine-year NHL career.

Buffalo outpaced the Bruins in shots on goal, finishing the game with a 36-33 advantage. Benoit Pouliot had a few of the Sabres best chances throughout the night with scoring opportunities on three different occasions. He and Kyle Okposo tore down the ice in a 2-on-1 situation near the end of the 2nd period, but the Canadian winger couldn’t find the puck on his stick to shoot at the open net. Pouliot also had two other chances with Khudobin out of position, but neither could find its way to the net before being deflected in front.

Evander Kane made the nicest play of the night early on in the 3rd period. Coming down the left wing he toe-dragged between two Boston defenders and got a great attempt to the far side of the net. Khudobin turned that one aside with his blocker, as he continued to frustrate the Buffalo offensive attack. Kane finished with four shots on net, tied for the team lead with Jack Eichel and Rasmus Ristolainen.

It was past the halfway mark of the contest before the game’s first goal was scored. Rookie Jake DeBrusk weaved the puck up the right wing and angled back towards the middle for one stride before ripping a perfectly placed wrist shot into the top corner of the net. Charlie McAvoy and Ryan Spooner picked up the assists on the goal, but it was the individual effort of DeBrusk earning the score at the 10:14 mark of the middle frame.

Tim Schaller and David Backes added a pair of empty-net goals in the game’s final two minutes to give Boston the 3-0 victory. Schaller cleared the puck from the Bruins’ defensive zone deflecting the puck in off the sideboard, while Backes converted after an extended offensive zone possession with 31 seconds remaining in the game.

The Sabres stay in Buffalo with their next game coming Friday night against the Philadelphia Flyers. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. from KeyBank Center.

Scoring

Penalties

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NHL Standings

DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
A4631-12-365
A4527-10-862
A4826-17-557
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
M4828-15-561
M4524-13-856
M4726-18-355
Wild Card leaders:
M4723-16-854
M4824-19-553
-----------------------------------------
M4925-21-353
M4824-20-452
M4721-18-850
A4519-20-644
A4719-22-644
A4518-20-743
A4415-20-939
A4611-26-931
DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
C4828-13-763
C4528-11-662
C4928-18-359
Pacific Division Leaders:
P4631-11-466
P4626-14-658
P4725-16-657
Wild Card leaders:
C4827-17-458
C4627-16-357
-----------------------------------------
C4826-17-557
P4725-17-555
P4822-17-953
C4722-19-650
P4721-23-345
P4718-23-642
P4912-28-933