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Bruins fall to Sabres, 4-1

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Andrew Raycroft made 37 saves, but it wasn’t enough as the Bruins dropped the second game of their young season 4-1 to the Buffalo Sabres Friday night at HSBC Arena. The Bruins continue their road trip tomorrow with a visit to Pittsburgh, where they’ll face Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

J.P. Dumont, Mike Grier, Ales Kotalik and Maxim Afinogenov each scored for the Sabres, who improved to 2-0.

The teams skated to a scoreless first period, but it wasn’t without excitement. The Patrice Bergeron, Brad Isbister and Sergei Samsonov line was buzzing early, creating several scoring opportunities. Boston’s best chance came when Joe Thornton sent Bergeron on a shorthanded breakaway, but Buffalo’s Ryan Miller took the angle away to make the save. Buffalo failed to convert on three power plays in the period, as Andrew Raycroft kept the B’s in the game early on.

Buffalo carried the play in the first eight minutes of the second period, out shooting Boston 7-0 in that stretch. J.P. Dumont would eventually convert one on the power play, notching the first goal of the game at 7:05 with six seconds remaining on the power play.

Twice in the second, Brian Leetch and Brad Isbister had goaltender Ryan Miller beat, but both shots rang off the post. Shortly after, Mike Grier would give the Sabres a 2-0 lead, deflecting a shot from the point off of his skate.

In the third, Boston came out with urgency. Off a set play on the face-off, Joe Thornton won the draw back to Jiri Slegr on the point, who fed Glen Murray for his first goal of the season at 6:31.

As a consequence of the Bruins offensive push, Ales Kotalik was sprung down the right wing side, where he beat Raycroft with a wrist shot to the far post. Maxim Afinogenov would score on a similar play with 1:23 remaining to seal the Sabres victory, 4-1.

“I thought tonight we got out skated,” said Coach Sullivan. “We’ve got to be better prepared from the drop of the puck. We played against a team tonight that played with urgency and we didn’t match it.”

With the Bruins getting right back at it against Pittsburgh, Coach Sullivan found no consolation in moving on to the next game.

“This one stung,” continued Sullivan. “We’ve got to make sure we respond to this one. We’re a better team than what was shown out there. Our expectations are much higher and we’ve got to make sure we respond.”

The season is still early, but in two games the Bruins have failed to convert on the power play, going 0 for 10 in that stretch.

“We just need to get the puck to the net more,” said team captain Joe Thornton. “ Obviously, we have some talented people on the power play. We just need to score some goals.”

Game notes
Bruins C Alexei Zhamnov was scratched for the second straight game with an injured shoulder. ... The Bruins started a six-game road trip that will end Oct. 18 in Montreal.
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