BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Boston Bruins knew what they were up against Friday night when they stepped on the ice at HSBC Arena. With the Buffalo Sabres facing elimination heading into Game 5, the Bruins knew they were going to get Buffalo's best game and that's exactly what happened in a 4-1 loss.
The problem for the Bruins was that they didn't bring their "A" game and match the Sabres' desperation and intensity.
"They came out really hard like we knew they would but for some reason we didn't match it," forward David Krejci said. "We really didn't get going until the third period and by then it was too late."
The Sabres completely dominated the first two periods, jumping out to a 2-0 lead after one and a 3-0 lead after the 40 minutes. They outshot the Bruins 26-14 -- and in their own zone, the defense made sure that shots weren't getting through to goaltender Ryan Miller, leading Boston in blocked shots 19-6.
"They did a better job of shutting down the path to the net and blocking shots," Marco Sturm said. "We really didn't have much space and time as well and it was hard to generate offense. They were frustrating us for sure and we shouldn't have let that happen because that has been a strength for us, not getting down on ourselves or changing our approach based on the other team."
The Bruins have allowed the first goal in all five games thus far, and while they came back in the previous three games -- including two games in which they overcame 2-0 deficits to win, they knew sooner or later that playing from behind could catch up to them.
On Friday night, that's exactly what happened.
"You know you can't do that every game and expect to win," Krejci said. "That's going to catch up to us and that's what happened. We need to get that first goal on Monday or we could be in trouble. It's about coming out strong and setting the tempo. I don't know why, but we were really flat tonight in the first two periods. We got better in the third period, but it was too late."
Goalie Tuukka Rask, who along with Miller, has been a major factor in the series, wasn't happy with the lack of emotion and intensity.
"We've got to figure out what went wrong and be ready for the next one," Rask said. "There was no emotion flowing out there. It's disappointing when we're not ready."
But while they will try to figure out what went wrong, the Bruins won't dwell on the loss. If there's one thing they have done well this series, it has been to move on -- whether they were coming off a win or a loss.
"It's disappointing any time you lose," coach Claude Julien said. "But are we going to hang our heads all the way back to Boston and feel sorry for ourselves? I don't think so. They didn't feel sorry for themselves, and they battled back. That's what we're going to do."