After a dismal performance on Tuesday night in Toronto, the Buffalo Sabres looked to come out and respond back at home against the Boston Bruins. The Sabres held a lead throughout most of the game, but the Bruins force overtime and beat Buffalo by a final of 3-2 at the First Niagara Center.
Brad Marchand scored with 5:30 left in the third period off a high bounce off his body to tie the hockey game 2-2. The Sabres and Bruins went to overtime where Marchand was left all alone and ripped a shot past Jhonas Enroth just 1:20 into overtime.
“This one stinks,” Drew Stafford said following the loss. “I felt we put the work in to respond based off of last game, which was just embarrassing and unacceptable. We had a great practice yesterday, and it just sucks to lose. A couple ‘Mickey Mouse’ goals on their end, and just losing coverage there on the OT winner. It’s frustrating.”
Stafford and Tyler Ennis were on the ice for the overtime goal as both of them were stuck on a long shift during the 4-on-4 period. Stafford and Ennis each did end the night with a goal and an assist on the evening. Stafford’s goal was Buffalo’s first powerplay goal of the season for the Sabres at the 5:12 mark of the second period. Ennis scored his goal after Torrey Mitchell stepped out of the penalty box and fed him a beautiful pass at the 16:25 mark of the second period.
Jhonas Enroth was solid in net, keeping the Sabres in the game throughout. Enroth stopped 34 shots out of 37 shots faced with two of the three goals coming off of weird bounces in front of Enroth.
The Sabres have been outshot 104-40 in the past three games by opposing teams, but Sabres head coach Ted Nolan was pleased with an improved effort by his team on Thursday.
“There’s a couple positive things we could take out of this game,” Nolan said. “The effort was there. Marchand’s second goal, I don’t know if it was batted in or not, but it hits a hand and goes in. They tie it up and get a goal that we weren’t too sure where our assignments were, but the effort was certainly better.”
Samson Reinhart played in his ninth, and potentially final game with the Sabres on Thursday, playing 7:45 of total ice-time with no shots on goal and only winning 25-percent of the draws. A decision on Reinhart is expected to be made by Nolan and general manager Tim Murray within the upcoming day or two.
“We’ll have a discussion with Tim [Murray] over the next little while and we’ll come up with a solution for that,” said Nolan.
The Sabres will now head to Pittsburgh tomorrow for a matchup with the Penguins on Saturday night at the Consol Energy Center. Opening face-off is scheduled for 7pm.