Although the Sabres showed up early in the game, applied pressure and had puck possession— some key items they haven’t been brought to earlier games this season — they fell short, losing their tenth consecutive game to the Boston Bruins.
Prior to puck drop, the Sabres (12-28-7) announced that Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen would back up Dustin Tokarski and make his NHL debut Friday against the Bruins (27-12-6). Meanwhile, Linus Ullmark is considered week to week with a lower body injury, and Carter Hutton has resumed skating with no return timeline after also suffering a lower body injury.
Brad Marchand scored his 25th goal of the season off a rebound, putting Boston on the board to start the game.
Make that 12 goals in April for Brad Marchand.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 23, 2021
Nearly half of @Bmarch63's 25 goals have come this month (13 GP), after posting 13 through 30 games from January to March. #NHLStats https://t.co/qb0UoTsP9V
Near the end of the first period, Marchand and Casey Mittlestadt both served penalties after a shoving match in front of the Sabres bench.
Buffalo was outshot by Boston, 14-7, at the end of the first period. The Bruins entered the game 15-0-2 when leading at the first intermission.
The Sabres returned from the first intermission and tied the game at one— Rookie Arttu Ruotsalainen scored his third goal in eight games off a beautiful pass from Anders Bjork.
At 12:50 the Bruins took the lead once again with a wrist shot from the point by Matt Grzelcyk.
Returning for the final 20 minutes of play, the Bruins tallied three goals, earning their sixth consecutive victory. David Pastrnak scored his 18th of the season at 4:55 — his third point of the night, Nick Ritchie at 6:01 and David Krejci ended the night 5-1 after deflecting the puck off the goalpost at 18:02. Former Buffalo Sabre Taylor Hall had the primary assist on Krejci’s goal.
The Bruins rookie goaltender, Jeremy Swayman, turned aside 29 of 30 shots. After just three weeks, his career record is now 5-1-0. Tokarski stopped 33 of 38 shots for Buffalo.
The Sabres power play went 0-for-5 this evening— most noticeably, Buffalo had no shots during the man advantage for two minutes in the first period. They have just one goal in 18 power-play opportunities against the Bruins this season.
Will Borgen returned to the Sabres lineup, replacing Colin Miller (healthy scratch) in the lineup, after missing the past 32 games with a broken arm. He skated 18:20, including 2:12 on the penalty kill.
The two teams will meet again Friday night for a rematch at 7 p.m.