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Game Day: Bruins @ Buffalo

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Buffalo wins, 3-2 in a shootout.

John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room.
Kotalik shoots for Buf. Save Fernandez.
Kessel shoots for Boston. Save Miller.
Stafford shoots for Buf. Goal.
Bergeron shoots for Boston. Save Miller.
Roy shoots for Buf. Save Fernandez.
Krejci shoots for Boston. Goal.
Pominville shoots for Buf. Save Fernandez.
Chara shoots for Boston. Save Miller.
Vanek shoots for Buf. Goal.
Savard shoots for Boston. Save Miller. Sabres win.
00:0 - No shot on goal for Boston. No goal for either team. We're going to a shootout.

27.2 - Sturm gathers the puck on the breakaway and is stopped by Miller who used most of his body to foil the B's forward. Boston earns a power play as a Buffalo defender impeded Sturm. Boston time out.

32.1 - Faceoff just outside the Buffalo zone.

2:35 - Krejci almost sends the B's home, but the puck won't stay on his stick as he tiptoes to the Buffalo doorstep.

4:02 - A high shot bounces off Manny's shoulder before he controls the puck.

4:59 - Four-on-four starts with Buffalo controlling the faceoff.

5:00 - Start of Overtime. Boston needs to weather this storm and hopefully score early. I'm not sure they have the juice to go five minutes.
0:00 - Miller has been the difference for Buffalo, and he is the biggest reason that we are going to OT.

1:00 - Buffalo moves into the Bruins zone. They could not score on the power play, but have controlled most of this period.

3:27 -  Yelle goes to the box. Buffalo is going on the power play.

4:14 - A decent chance for Boston falls apart before the B's could control the puck in front of Miller's net.

6:03 - Savard caught a stick in the head and the Bruins are on the PP. Savvy looks fine.

6:33 - Buffalo is really flying. The B's need to dig deep to salvage this.

8:49 - WOW. Krejci has a goal stolen from him by Miller, who flashed the leather and gloved David's bid for the lead.

11:11 - Boston finally regains some of the momentum and draws a penalty.

14:12 - Stafford scores for Buffalo. The Sabre came down the left side, beats the B's defense and finishes his post pattern with a goal. 2-2.

14:42 - A sabres shot gets in to Fernandez who kicks it away and onto the stick of Wheeler.

15:25 - A little pushing and shoving behind the net. Ward involved.

16:58 - Nokelainen works hard and gets the puck into the Boston zone, but the Sabres regain control come back down the ice. However, the Buffalo shot ends up in the stands.

19:05 - Paille shoots from Fernandez's left, but Manny turns that aside.

19:59 - Buffalo controls the faceoff.

20:00 - Start of the Third Period. Boston needs to regain that first period fire.
0:00 - Buffalo continued to press until the end of the period. The break is perfectly timed for the B's, who had started looking around.

1:19 - Petteri Nokelainen's shot is sent out of the rink. Faceoff in the Buffalo zone.

2:35 - Boston killed the penalty, but Buffalo has maintained control of the puck and Fernandez has been too busy.

5:06 - A Bruin is in the box. It was coming. The B's have started running around a little - chicken minus head like - and the Sabres were taking advantage of their confusion. Savard is in the sin bin.

6:27 - Rivet shoots, looked like a tip (maybe MacArthur) and the puck goes by Manny. 2-1, Boston.

7:11 - Vanek centers and nearly catches the B's and Fernandez, but the score remains, 2-0, B's.

7:59 - Stuart in the box for interference. Buf on the PP.

8:12 - Boy is Phil playing well. Lucic brings it into the zone, drops it on Kess, Phil goes to the center of the ice beats miller. 2-0, Boston.

9:03 - Bergeron stops a Buffalo shorthanded bid.

9:51 - Boston on the PP. Goalie interference on Stafford.

10:26 - Rivet with a bid from the point. Save Fernandez, who has the puck go off his glove.

11:11 - Vladi is back. Thank goodness.

13:14 - Fernandez with a right pad save to kick away the Sabres best bid of the session.

14:27 - Miller absolutely robs Wheeler, who was stationed perfectly to receive a pass from behind the net.

15:34 - Rivet and Miller stop Savard and Kessel from adding to the Boston lead.

16:41 - Shawn Thornton, who told Andrew Peters to wait for a fight, has a shot blocked. Unfortunately, Vladimir Sobotka looked to take a puck somewhere and headed to the locker room.

18:03 - Some sustained and dangerous pressure from Buffalo.

19:01 - Faceoff in the Bruins end. The Sabres came out of the room with a bit more fire.

20:00 - Beginning of the Second Period.
0:00 - Fernandez and Ference combined to stop the Sabres on the doorstep and preserve a B's lead going into the break. 1-0, Boston. The B's had 16 shots, Buffalo 6.

14.6 - A flurry from Buffalo, but the Boston defense stood tall.

1:51 - Sobotka's turn. He and his line had at least one pretty good  chance. Wardo is back. Looked like he took a shot to the head.

3:10 - Ward went to the bench in pain.

4:10 - Vanek is stuffed by Fernandez.

4:57 - Fernandez calms down a Buffalo opportunity by gobbling up a puck near the crease.

6:16 - Sturm penalty. We're at four-on-four.

6:50 - Sabres penalty. Peters. B's on the power play.

9:03 - Goal Boston. Wideman from the point. He somehow found a hole through about six guys. The Bruins pace and work finally paid off. 1-0, B's.

10:17 - Miller turns away a try by Krejci and Wheeler. The B's youngsters are really pushing the Sabres.

11:28 - A pretty centering pass by Lucic to Kessel and Phil just missed his sixth goal.

13:04 - Icing Bruins. Boston has really kept up a terrific tempo.

15:36 - Kessel shoots high on Miller, who traps the B's best bid of the evening.

16:40 - A huge shorthanded stop by Fernandez, who is playing in his 300th game. Fernandez kicked away Matt Ellis' bid.

17:02 - Hard work by the Krejci line earns the Sabres a penalty and the B's their first PP. Wheeler was especially effective on the boards.

18:37 - Sturm with a shot that is kicked away by Miller. Bergeron almost had the rebound. A nice pace for the Bruins who are pushing the Sabres into their zone frequently.

18:57 - Icing, Buffalo.

19:27 - Plenty of good pressure from Boston, including a hard shot by Zdeno Chara.

19:59 - Buffalo wins the opening draw.

20:00 - Beginning of the First Period. A quick goal would be huge for Boston.

Switching to time on the clock...

6:41 p.m.
Here are your Boston Bruins:

Lucic - Savard - Kessel
Sturm - Bergeron - Ryder
Yelle - Krejci - Wheeler
Nokelainen - Sobotka  - Thornton
Chara - Wideman
Ference - Ward
Stuart - Hnidy

Scratches: Axelsson, Hunwick, Kobasew

6:23 p.m.
Manny Fernandez is in goal tonight.

Reports from the northern front put the weather conditions as "cold and rainy."

Buffalo is expecting flurries. Yuck.

3:10 p.m.

While we are waiting for the game, I just wanted to note that we are hosting our Annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Thursday, 10/23.

The following activities will be taking place throughout the game: A 50/50 raffle benefiting the Boston Bruins Foundation and The Cam Neely Foundation, All funds go to BBF and Cam Neely Foundation

In-game raffle: Cam Neely autographed jersey, a framed and autographed Phil Kessel poster and a Hockey Fights Cancer Basket including a Bruins hat, jersey, a Reflections 2008 book.

Look for ties, scarves and hats commemorating the day! Coaches, management and broadcasters will be wearing special ties.  Kathryn Tappen and Naoko Funayama will wear scarves and Bruins players will wear Hockey Fights Cancer hats during interviews

Many groups have been invited, including: Massachusetts General Hospital, Children’s Hospital, The Jimmy Fund, The Neely Foundation, The Floating Hospital, Make a Wish Foundation Starlight Starbright Foundation and several representatives of Hockey East.

11:50 a.m.
Word from the Boston contingent in Buffalo is that only four guys are skating this morning: Fernandez, Sobotka, Wheeler and Hunwick.

11:25 a.m.
The Bruins are in Buffalo this morning and should begin their morning skate at 11:30 a.m. As a warm up, let’s look at some of the quotes floating around the locker rooms yesterday.

Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien
Claude Julien
On the team’s performance on the power play tonight…
I think it’s one of those games where overall I was happy with our effort, and we did have some chances, but you’ve got to capitalize on those good opportunities. At the end of it you come out of it with just a point. I thought we deserved better tonight. No, it wasn’t a perfect game, and our power play wasn’t perfect, but nonetheless, I think we played well enough to win. Unfortunately I think same old, same old: a shootout and we came up at the short end of it.

On the decision to put Phil Kessel and Marc Savard on a line together…
Both players are playing well. Savard’s got the hot stick, and Phil was playing extremely well. Again, I was trying to generate some offense, and putting those two together, I was hoping that they would get that much needed goal.

On the team’s problem generating offense tonight…
It’s an easy topic to talk about right now because we lost. There’s a couple of guys on the other team that lead the league in scoring. They only scored one goal the whole game, so we can go on about this, except I think it was a hard-fought game. We had great goaltending at both ends, good chances – the scoring chances were created – and we came up short in the shootout. I think that’s where we need to get better is we need to finish, especially in the shootout. But as far as the game is concerned, if you ask me my opinion, we were the better team tonight. 

Bruins Forward Marc Savard
Marc Savard
On the team’s goal scoring…
We’ve just got to bear down. I didn’t think we should’ve made the overtime; we had some great chances, especially in the first period. With power plays like that, we’ve got to get some goals. We worked hard and we can’t be unhappy about our effort, but we want wins and those goals in the shootout, we’ve got to get them.

On being paired with Phil Kessel…
Yes, Claude put us together in the second there and I thought that he brings a lot of speed to the line, and I’m able to use him wide, when he stays wide. Obviously, Lucic is a great force, so that seems what he wanted tonight and it seemed to work. In the third I thought I scored, I gave it to Phil behind the net, and he gave it to me in the slot, I even raised my stick because I thought it went in. I don’t know how I saw it; it must’ve hit his glove or something. So, a couple tough breaks, but like I said, we worked hard, and we’ll just take the positives into tomorrow night…It’s his third year, and we expect him to be one of our top six, and he’s doing it. I don’t know if I am surprised, I know that he can play, and he’s proven it.

On finishing their shots…
I thought we moved it well, but it was almost like we made it look too pretty, being at home. On the road it seems like you get the dirty ones and you put it on net and you get the rebounds and you put it in. It looked pretty, but that’s not what we’re looking for. We need some more shots in traffic and we look to do that in our next chance tomorrow night.

Bruins Forward Phil Kessel
Phil Kessel
On his pairing with Savard tonight…
You’ve got to prepare, because he’s a good passer, so you’ve just got to get out there and play the game and finish the puck. I thought we played pretty well in the third, we had a lot of chances, but it just didn’t go our way.

On if he has prepared differently for games this season…
No, I’m doing the same stuff. Just playing the same, I don’t know. I’m just trying harder, I don’t know, I’m just working right now.

On the team’s power play…
Just getting that shot off is the key. We worked it around pretty good tonight on the power play. We just need to shoot a little more and things will go in for us.

Bruins Defenseman Zdeno Chara
On the Penguins offensive attack…
They actually have a lot of speed and they’re not afraid to go right between the two defensemen and split you up. They really try to use their speed in short plays and they try to make the cross seam passes. They are not afraid to do that. But like I said, I thought we played well. We had pretty good gaps against them, and most of the time we didn’t turn the puck over too much. But they’re going to get create some kind of chances because they are that good. I think we did a good job defensively.

On Kessel’s performance…
Zdeno Chara
It’s his third year in the league and you can see that he’s maturing and he’s getting better and he understands that he has to do all of the little things in the game that makes the difference at the end. Especially starting from our end in the zone, you can see that he’s blocking shots and he’s chipping pucks out of the zone. He’s playing with a lot of confidence and I think that’s the most important thing right now. When he has the puck, he’s not afraid to challenge the defenseman one on one, and he’s done a pretty good job so far. We need guys like that to put the puck in the net….He is already [playing like a leader]. We know that he can score goals and he can make differences in the game. It’s just up to him.

On the Savard/Kessel line combination…
Savard’s obviously a great playmaker. He can get the puck to anybody and through a number of people. Like I said, Phil is playing with a lot of confidence, so when you put those two things together then you have a good duo.
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