BOSTON - The fight for the first hat trick was on and everything was looking just fine.
Entering the third period, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each had two goals apiece. And with the Bruins holding on to a two-goal lead over the Buffalo Sabres, they were searching for some insurance and their second consecutive victory.
But the hat tricks and the extra cushion never came.
Boston surrendered the lead in the third and ultimately fell in overtime on Sabres forward Ryan O'Reilly's tally with 2:01 remaining in the extra session.
"Obviously we're disappointed," Pastrnak said following the 5-4 loss to Buffalo at TD Garden on Saturday night. "We got one point…we didn't play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us. It's on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It's just another learning session."
Video: The Bruins React after a 5-4 OT Loss to BUF
There was some question about whether or not there was goalie interference on the winning goal after Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen knocked into Anton Khudobin in the crease. But after an officials' review it was determined that Torey Krug initiated the contact that led to the collision.
"Well you guys saw it," said Khudobin, who made 37 saves. "I think that's interference. He crushed me, pretty much. I mean, we have the referees and it's their call, but I felt like I didn't have a chance to even move there. So maybe they said that our guy cross-checked him or whatever, but maybe that's a penalty, not a goal."
Ultimately, the Bruins felt they could have done much more to prevent the extra session. Boston held two three-goal leads and entered the third period with a 4-2 advantage. But tallies from former Bruin Benoit Pouliot early in the final frame and Evander Kane with just 2:08 to go in regulation - just seconds after the expiration of Brandon Carlo's interference penalty - forced overtime.
"Just let it slip away from us," said Krug, who picked up his first assist of the season. "We needed a big play, needed to get out of a mess and we just couldn't do it. We hold ourselves accountable and it hurts. Especially with the long layoff before the next game."
Video: BUF@BOS: Marchand snipes in his second of the game
The Bruins appeared to be en route to a blowout early on. With Buffalo on the second end of a back-to-back after falling to Vancouver on Friday night, Boston opened the scoring with goals from Pastrnak and Marchand (on the power play) later in the first and added another on Marchand's second of the night just 37 seconds into the middle period to build a 3-0 lead.
Jason Pominville got Buffalo on the board at 8:01 of the second, before Pastrnak grabbed his second of the night just over three minutes later to extend Boston's lead back to three goals.
"We came out in the third and we wanted to continue pouring it on," said Charlie McAvoy, who had his fifth and sixth assists of the season. "And we had some good shifts when we played in their zone. They were getting it up and getting it in, they were working hard. They had a good forecheck and good sticks. And it's up to us to protect that lead."
But Jack Eichel's tally with 3:53 to go in the second brought Buffalo within two and provided the Sabres with some hope heading into the third. It proved to be the first of four unanswered goals for Buffalo.
"They obviously had the momentum and we really didn't regain it at any point," said Marchand. "You always have those momentum swings in the games, but it's kind of how you handle them and we didn't do a good job with that tonight.
"Those are the games you can't lose. We obviously didn't do the job there in the third and close it out, but we're gonna have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one."
Video: BUF@BOS: Pastrnak scores on fortuitous bounce
The injuries to Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller forced Paul Postma into action for the first time this season. Postma, paired with Rob O'Gara for much of the night, played well, landing three shots on goal and three hits with a plus-1 rating in 11 minutes, 40 seconds of ice time.
"Actually pretty good, a little nervous at the start," Postma said of how he felt. "You can skate in practice as much as you want, but you can't compare that to a game, and the first couple shifts got the nerves going a little bit, but once I got my feet under me, I felt pretty good."
O'Gara, recalled from Providence on an emergency basis Saturday morning, was also making his season debut. The blue liner landed one hit and blocked three shots in 14 minutes, 17 seconds of ice time.
"It's been a long day today with the drive up from Providence this morning, but it felt good," said O'Gara. "Just trying to stay within myself, playing psychical, being assertive. I think doing that more and more just a little each game…when I'm comfortable and confident is when I play my best.
"I think that will take a little bit of time, but I felt good with how I did tonight."
News and Notes
- Miller and David Krejci (both upper body) were game-time decisions, but neither suited up. After the game, Cassidy described the two as "probable" for the Bruins next game on Thursday night against San Jose.
- Riley Nash's assist on Pastrnak's second goal was the 100th points of his NHL career.