After much anticipation, the new season got underway at KeyBank Center on Thursday night in Buffalo. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to cheer about for the home team.
The Sabres put up a giant goose egg on the scoreboard, falling to the Boston Bruins by a 4-0 score, dropping their sixth consecutive season opener.
If there was one player who fans didn’t want to see record points, it was Brad Marchand, who assisted on each of the four goals.
The Sabres pulled Carter Hutton with just over five minutes remaining as they trailed by three. They spent a good amount of time in the Boston zone, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Patrice Bergeron finished the game off with an empty-netter in the final minutes.
Dahlin with a big hit to open up the 2nd period! #Sabres pic.twitter.com/Xa0DyZJC0F
— BuffaloHockeyCentral (@BHCdotcom) October 5, 2018
In his Sabres debut, Hutton allowed three goals on 25 shots, but was left out to dry on two of them. He also came up big with a few key stops just to keep Buffalo in it, including a breakaway save on Sean Kuraly.
Before the game, Jack Eichel stated that there was going to be high energy levels, but after a few minutes, Boston was dictating the pace of play.
Zdeno Chara was booed every time he touched the puck, but that only fueled him as he scored the game’s first goal. Ryan Donato doubled the Boston lead with a power play tally. After getting beaten by the Washington Capitals, 7-0, one night earlier, the Bruins were in full control.
“I thought they played pretty desperate, they played hard. It didn’t seem as crisp, as clean as we wanted, it’s tough to not get one in the back of the net and get the crowd in it. Our compete level needs to be higher.” – Eichel
Fans were quick to boo the team off the ice at the end of the first period, and those became louder as the game went on.
“When you aren’t giving them the product that they want, that they deserve … tonight it just wasn’t there for the whole game. It’s something that has been all too common here. It’s our job to change that.” – Okposo
Hutton stated that the leaders in the Sabres locker room were not letting teammates hang their head after the loss. The importance of changing the locker room atmosphere is something Eichel understands, and we’ll see if that helps change the direction of this team.
“We can control what we do when we come to the rink tomorrow. Because we are not going through this again.”
The Sabres are back in action on Saturday against the New York Rangers at KeyBank Center. It’ll be the second game of a four-game homestand and the puck drops at 7 p.m.