Thursday night was not the best way to test interim head coach Don Granato. Prior to the game, both the Sabres and Bruins canceled their morning skates due to COVID-19 protocols. A Sabres training staff member and a Bruins player each entered the league’s protocol. After both teams conducted further testing, they announced the match would go on as scheduled.
|1||2:56||Greg McKegg (1)||Matt Grzelcyk (8)||---|
|2||1:54||SHG||Kyle Okposo (1)||Jacob Bryson (1)||---|
|2||9:15||Jake DeBrusk (3)||David Pastrnak (12)||David Krejci (13)|
|2||18:36||Craig Smith (5)||David Krejci (14)||Connor Clifton (4)|
|3||4:44||PPG||David Pastrnak (14)||David Krejci (15)||Brad Marchand (22)|
With this being the first game since Ralph Krueger’s firing, expectations were high, but Buffalo (6-19-4) extended their losing streak to 13 — not much of a difference, but the team was once again affected by COVID-19.
As per usual, Boston got on the board first. At 2:56 Greg McKegg tipped the puck in for his first of the season.
The Sabres tied it up and scored just 1:54 into the second period— Kyle Okposo scored his first of the season and his first short handed goal of his career.
Kyle Okposo’s second-period tally tonight was the first shorthanded goal of his career.— Sabres PR (@SabresPR) March 19, 2021
Boston came back and pulled ahead at 9:15 with a rebound power play goal from Jake DeBrusk. They didn’t stop there though, Craig Smith brought the Bruins lead to 3-1 at 18:36.
In the final period, the Bruins extended their lead, once again, on the power play. David Pastrnak earned his 14th goal of the season and made it 4-1 just 4:44 in. Buffalo struggled to get a shot on goal until the halfway point of the period but still couldn’t follow through. Boston’s goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped 23 shots total for the night.
Carter Hutton saved 33 shots on goal but continued to struggle with rebounds. He is now 1-9-1 for the season. Meanwhile, the rest of the team couldn’t become consistent in offense — as seen throughout the first half of the season. Buffalo has only score three times in the past four games.
“I felt today we established at least in our own game a decent pace, and we didn’t sustain it,” said Don Granato postgame. He mentioned that pace is something he hopes to establish differently than Ralph Krueger.
Interim Head Coach Don Granato addresses the media after tonight's game against the Bruins. https://t.co/BlbfRWIpJo— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) March 19, 2021
The two teams will face each other again for a Saturday afternoon puck drop at 1 p.m.