(Courtesy of Bill Wippert)
The Buffalo Sabres returned home last night after a disappointing 4 game road trip. They were looking to get back into the win column and forget what happened in the last week. Everything seemed to be going well for the team as they appeared to be skating better together, communicating better, and worker just a little bit harder than they had previously. That was, until the third period hit last night against the Boston Bruins. Since the beginning of the season, Buffalo has been outscored 18-5 in the 3rd period alone, making it the worst period for the team in almost every game. That did not seem to change last night against the Bruins either as they had a 2-1 lead going into the 3rd and let it slip away by allowing Boston to get that tieing goal and winning in overtime, 3-2. “Lately, we’ve been sitting back in the third and it’s catching up to us,” stated Buffalo’s Tyler Ennis.
Having already lost agains Boston once this season, Buffalo was looking to redeem themselves and even the series at 1 win apiece. Boston was also coming off a bad third period loss to Minnesota just two days before. The first period was rather uneventful between these two teams other than a minor fight between Buffalo’s Chris Stewart and Boston’s Milan Lucic.
The 2nd period found another painful stat for Buffalo as Drew Stafford not only scored his 1st goal of the season but also scored Buffalo’s first powerplay goal in 33 attempts. “It’s just embarrassing, unacceptable to go 0-for-this-long,” Stafford pointed out. Boston’s Adam McQuaid found the back of the net for the Bruins 1st goal of the game. This was also McQuaid’s first goal since October, 2013. Buffalo’s Mike Weber was in front of the net and attempted to block the shot and ende up redirecting it right past goalie Jhonas Enroth. Buffalo went back into the lead on a nice 2-on-1 play involving Torrey Mitchell and Tyler Ennis with Ennis getting the credit for his 4th goal of the season.
The dreaded 3rd period came and almost went with Buffalo still in the lead, until Brad Marchand scored with just over four minutes left in the period. Reilly Smith shot the puck towards Enroth and while it appeared to be going too high and was going to miss the net, Marchand got his hand in the way and was able, in a legal fashion, to get the puck behind Enroth and tie the game at 2.
Marchand would also score just over a minute into the overtime period to win the game for Boston, 3-2. “It doesn’t matter how you get a win on the road — you get the two points, and we’re going to be happy with that,” stated Marchand.
Buffalo is going to need to take more shots if the are going to have any shot at winning games. Last game against Toronto they had a mere 10 shots on goal and again last night against Boston, they were only able to get 15 shots on goal. “We still need to address the shots, though. We still had not enough shots,” Ennis said. “We’ve got to find a way to put those through.”
Buffalo’s next game will be Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who will be looking for their 4th win in a row. Boston returns home to face the Ottawa Senators, who are coming off a loss to the Blackhawks.