Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

Game Day: Bruins @ Sabres

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
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.
0:00 - David Krejci won the final faceoff back to the blueline and the puck made it to the point, but the shot missed. Buffalo wins, 3-2. Final shots, 29-23, Boston. Boston "falls" to 9-1-1 in November.

Lucic had nine hits, the most on either team. However, the Sabres outhit Boston 32-27, which might be the most important numbers besides the score.

Tim Thomas to NESN about the shorthanded goal: "I just missed it...As it was coming I think I (though) it was going wide. And just that, that quick thought, is probably what messed up my timing."

Marc Savard to NESN about the loss: "The losses that we do have this year, if you remember back, were because we didn't play 60-minutes. Teams are too good in this league, especially these guys...and we didn't play three periods and it cost us."

8.0 - Icing Buffalo. Boston will have six men in the Sabres zone for the faceoff. Time out Boston (for that strategic rest).

1:03 - Thomas out.

2:04 - Buffalo is in full desparation mode diving and trying to block everythign. Boston will definitely get another big shot at this.

3:35 - Chara shot. Miller save.

Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images
4:18 - Boston kills the Buffalo PP and breaks into the Sabres zone. Krejci with some strong work down low, but a Boston shot from the point goes off a Buffalo stick and into the stands.

Shots are 28-22, Boston.

5:20 - Stick save Thomas.

6:29 - Ward to the box for roughing. A late PP for Buff. Time out Sabres (for a strategic rest).

8:09 - Thomas loses a puck in a pile up and all five Bruins have a hand in his covering up for the faceup. They all had their sticks around his pads attempting to prevent any rubber crossing the goal line. Phew.

10:35 - Awesome work by Kessel and Co. Lots of good work by Hunwick to keep the puck in the zone, but it's Phil who scores thanks to a good job by Lucic and Savard. 3-2, Buff.

Word from Buffalo is that there are plenty of B's fans in the building and that there was a decent cheer when Kessel scored.

12:06 - By my reckoning, Hunwick is getting better and better. He just personally got the B's their best offensive opp of the period.

13:56 - The Sabres are making it very difficult on the B's, who are trying to get some offense going to try and tie the game.  Shots are 25-19, B's.

15:45 - Roy lost his balance late on  a breakaway (probably helped by Chara) and takes out the goal. Faceoff.

15:56 - Krejci with an outstanding effort down low, but no shot.

17:58 - Again, the B's have spent much of the young period in the Buffalo zone...

19:36 - Boston controls and gets it deep.

The B's have just released a statement from Boston Bruins Executive Vice President Charlie Jacobs on the passing of former Bruins player and coach Armand "Bep" Guidolin:
“The entire Bruins family is deeply saddened by the passing of Bep Guidolin.  Bep contributed to the rich Bruins history both as a player and a coach.  Everyone in the Bruins organization will be keeping the Guidolin family in their thoughts during this difficult time.”

20:00 - Start of the Third.
Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images
0:00 - You can't fault the B's for the period. The shortie is the difference, but the Bruins held sway more most of the session.

I wonder what Coach Julien might say between periods...

Matt Hunwick to Funayama: "You can see that they are chipping a lot of pucks in behind us. So, we have to get back quick and make plays. They are kind of putting on the same (type of) pressure that we would (like to) put on them -- establishing a strong forecheck -- and that made it tough for us to break out."

Shots are 23-18, Boston.

27.1 - The puck is jammed against the boards by a pile in the B's zone. Faceoff.

1:53 - It looked as if three B's shots hit other B's in the legs. Ugh.

3:52 - Kaleta collides with Thomas, but the Sabre got the worst of it. A bruise, for sure, and a penalty. Bruins PP.

5:42 - Mair and Stuart have words. Mair had Mark pinned to the wall behind the Buffalo net in an awkward position and Stuey let him know how he felt about it.

5:58 - Strange period. Boston has spent a ton of time in the Buffalo end, but has not, as of yet been able to dent the final line of defense. Plenty of chances. But almost as many saves.

8:35 - Wheeler's turn, but Miller is there, again.

9:52 - Icing Buffalo. Boston has controlled this period...except one shot.

10:28 - Another tough shot from the B's and another save by Miller.

11:15 - A shot from the Bruins from the corner forces Miller to hold the puck for the draw.

Watch Shawn Thornton's Vlog
12:27 - Thornton vs. Peters. It was close, early, but Thornton got the takedown and the win. The B's bench loves it.

12:37 - Icing Buffalo. Lucic had at least three hits on his last shift. Awesome. The B's are working to pick up their goalie.

14:59 - Hecht scores, shorthanded. A defensive miscue springs the Buffalo forward who beats Thomas. 3-1, Buffalo.

15:09 - Wideman hit from behind by Kaleta. Boston PP.

15:29 - If you see this play, watch Krejci wait, wait, wait and then sends it to the net where Kobasew, Wheeler and then Hunwick pound away at the puck. Hunwick scores to make the Buffalo lead just 2-1.

15:46 - Savard shoots and Miller stops it.

16:29 - B's icing.

17:14 - Thomas with two big stops.

17:26 - Yelle with a slap shot that's turned away.

18:22 - Buffalo turned the tables and the B's take an icing.

19:38 - Boston controls the puck early.

20:00 - Start of the Second. The stat of the night from NESN is that the B's are 4-0-2 when their opponent scores first. Ha!
Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, center, makes a glove save during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo, N.Y., on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. The play was reviewed and officials determined the puck did not cross the goal line. (AP Photo/Don Heupel)
0:00 - Boston had at least two good chances in the final minute of the period. Kobasew threw a big hit late and had words with Peters and Tim made a goal line save to keep the score 2-0.

The bottom line for the B's: It's time to regroup. Boston made several clear mistakes at all three positions (defense, forward and goal) and those issues accounted for both Buffalo goals.

Shots were 12-9, Sabres.

Buffalo's Roy to NESN's Naoko Funayama: "We're making some good plays inside (their) zone. We know that they collapse down really low and we want to get the pucks to the point and get some shots...and I think we are just throwing the pucks to the net and getting a lot of guys there."

1:23 - An even strength goal for Buffalo. He beat Tim over his left shoulder. Roy's second goal. It's 2-0, Buffalo.

2:03 - Not sure how he did it, but Timmy made an amazing save. There's no way he saw that shot, a shot which came in low and through legs.

They are reviewing the play because from a couple angles it looked like Tim's glove was in the net. But the call was "no goal" and remains "no goal" after review.

3:27 - High sticking Ryder. Buffalo PP. He got Vanek up high.

4:09 - Vanek misses the net.

4:11 - Thomas save.

4:43 - Lucic tests Miller, who is up to the task. Faceoff in the Sabres zone.

5:23 - Nokelainen hits the post.

5:51 - It looks like the Bruins have decided to try and pound the Sabres until they submit.

7:49 - Shots are 6-5, Bruins...

9:15 - Miller loses his helmet, play stopped in the Sabres zone.

9:44 - Two hits by Yelle, one by Thornton as the energy line tries to bring it.

10:42 - A weird play. A Bruin let the man at the plot go (skate issue?), and then another Bruin lost the puck in the slot. Roy picks up the biscuit and scores. 1-0, Buff.

12:04 - Lucic destroys Gaustad...tempers flaring. Nothing doing, yet. Gaustad had just popped wideman, and Milan followed suit.

13:24 - Big check on Kobasew by Kaleta. He's fine. Just got a text from a friend in the building: "Kaleta's gonna get it."

No flow to this one, yet. More like a tennis match -- back-and-forth.

15:07 - Thomas makes a save. His first?

16:28 - Icing Buffalo.

16:54 - A bit of a slow start for both clusb. No real offense, yet.

18:56 - Axelsson got up slow after a hit behind the Buffalo goal. Cross check by Tallinder. No call.

19:59 - Boston wins the faceoff. Buffalo's new sweaters have a classic Adams Division look. Pretty nice.

20:00 - Start of the First. Keep the pedal to the metal. A quick start and a consistent game can put the game out of Buffalo's reach.

Switching to time on the clock...

6:57 p.m.
NESN agrees with my lines.

Matt Lashoff is confirmed as a scratch, with Sturm staying home. Connolly, Paille, Paetsche for Buffalo.

Starters for the B's:
Nokelainen, Yelle, Kobasew, Stuart, Wideman, Thomas
Starters for Buff: Spacek, Sekera, Vanek, Stafford, Roy, Miller

6:53 p.m.
Best guess at the lines...
Lucic - Savard - Kessel
Axelsson - Bergeron - Ryder
Wheeler - Krejci - Kobasew
Thornton - Yelle - Nokelainen
Chara - Ward
Hunwick - Wideman
Stuart - Hnidy

Sturm, Lashoff

However, Milan Lucic was skating on the fourth line with Shawn Thornton and Stephane Yelle yesterday and that might change things up a bit. We'll know in a couple of minutes.

6:32 p.m.
NESN confirms that Tim Thomas will be in goal for Boston.

My trusty mole in Buffalo says that Miller is in goal and reminds us that the Sabres are wearing their third jerseys tonight.

6:30 p.m.
Some more Thanksgiving spirit!
Today, Boston Bruins Defenseman Andrew Ference delivered free-range, all-natural Whole Foods Market turkeys to the Pine Street Inn in Boston’s South End just in time for Thanksgiving.

Dedicated to promoting “green” living, Ference delivered the turkeys in one of PlanetTran’s Toyota Prius Hybrid vehicles. Based in Boston & San Francisco, PlanetTran is the nation’s first transportation service based exclusively on environmentally friendly Toyota Prius Hybrid’s.

The all-natural turkeys being donated by Whole Foods Market are the same turkeys served at the White House for over 40 years.  Whole Foods Market is committed to the local communities where it does business, and is actively involved in the fight against hunger on a local and global level.  Each store works with food pantries, soup kitchens, food banks and charitable organizations within the local community and also supports hunger-relief efforts on a global scale.

Founded in1969 and located in the South End since 1980, Pine Street Inn is a not-for-profit organization committed to men, women and children in need of shelter, sustenance, and the basic moral and material supports necessary to lead a dignified and stable life. Pine Street Inn provides an extensive support system including outreach activities, emergency shelter, job training, literacy training and 25 permanent residences that provide affordable housing with support staff for those who need such support. For more information, visit

6:08 p.m.
Holy cow! Thanksgiving traffic in Massachusetts is no joke -- two hours from downtown to the Metrowest suburbs!

But it's time to re-engage with tonight's contest...

Word from Buffalo is that sports radio up there is not sure who is starting in goal for Boston because both B's goalies are doing so well(?). I have it under good authority that it's Tim Thomas in goal.

Also the Sabres Tallinder and Afinogenov will be in the Buffalo lineup. Apparently there will also be a bit of a shakeup in the Buffalo lines, as well.

My eyes on the ground in Buff think Miller is in goal.

Kevin Paul Dupont of The Boston Globe writes in his blog:
NESN's astute play-by-play man, Jack Edwards, noted to Julien that a lot of turkey--the traditional Thanksgiving menu item--contains hormones that can lead to a feeling of comfort and sleepiness.

''Our guys are only allowed to have ham,'' kidded the coach.

1:37 p.m.
This is a little late...
London, ONTARIO: The London Knights Hockey Club is pleased to announce that former London Knight and current Boston Bruins Defenseman Dennis Wideman will hosted 12 children from the Sunshine Foundation of Canada at the London Knights game on Friday, November 21, 2008 vs. Peterborough. Wideman, 25 purchased the CJBK Radio Suite 33 for the game at this past summer’s London Knights’ Charity Golf Tournament and donated it to the Sunshine Foundation of Canada. Wideman has also donated Boston Bruins gifts and jersey’s bearing his name for all kids attending that night. 

Nice job to both Dennis and Aaron! JB

1:28 p.m.

This just in...
Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward and his five-year-old son Liam will hand-deliver 160 turkeys to charitable organizations throughout the Greater Boston Area on Thanksgiving morning, November 27.

Ward purchased 80 of the turkeys from Stop and Shop supermarket and Stop and Shop donated an additional 80. The 160 turkeys weigh a combined two tons (4,000 pounds).

The Wards will be visiting the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, the Boston Family Shelter, St. Francis House and the YMCA in Cambridge. After delivering the turkeys, Ward will join his Bruins teammates at the TD Banknorth Garden for practice (time TBD).

Please note this practice will NOT be open to the public.

12:16 p.m.
Timmy a-go-go
Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, center, is congratulated by teammates after the Bruins defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout in an NHL hockey game in Montreal on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)
Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice for the Bruins, which should signal that he will be in goal for the club against the Buffalo Sabres this evening.

Some notes on Tim:
Thomas has taken points out of his last seven games at 6-0-1 with a 5-1 win vs. Dallas on Nov. 1, a 5-2 victory over Toronto on Nov. 6, a 2-1 shootout win in Chicago on Nov. 12, a 3-2 shootout loss at NY Rangers on Nov. 15, a 3-2 win in Toronto on Nov. 17, a 4-2 victory vs. Florida on Nov. 21 and a 3-2 shootout victory in Montreal on Nov. 22. He is 8-1-1 in his last ten games with a 1.46 GAA and .954 save percentage in that span. His last regulation loss was a 3-2 setback in Calgary on Oct. 30. Has taken points out of 12 of his 14 starts this season at 9-2-3.

Overall, Thomas has an 8-1-1 record with a 1.46 GAA (15 GA in 618 mins) and .954 save percentage (313 of 328 shots) in his last ten games. He was named the NHL’s Second Star for the week of Oct. 27-Nov. 2 with consecutive 1-0 shutouts (at Edmonton on Oct. 27 and at Vancouver on Oct. 28), had his shutout streak snapped at 154:43 in a 3-2 loss in Calgary on Oct. 30 and earned a 5-1 victory over Dallas on Nov. 1. During that span, Tim became the first Boston goaltender with consecutive shutouts since Byron Dafoe on April 3-5, 1999. It was just the second time in NHL history that a goaltender posted 1-0 shutouts in consecutive road games (Florida’s Craig Anderson, March 2-4, 2008).

Take that Mel!

11:55 a.m.
Former Boston Bruins goalie Joey MacDonald covers the puck in the crease against the Atlanta Thrashers in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, March 31, 2007. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
While we are still awaiting word from the Buffalo contingent as to the first goalie off the ice, Melissa, a former communications intern for the Bruins, weighed in from her new assignment with the Islanders.

I guess Mel has Friday's game between the B's and the Isles on her mind. Some thoughts on former Bruins goalie Joey MacDonald:
Goaltender Joey MacDonald is 7-3-1 in 11 games this month following the Islanders 4-3 shootout victory against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night. MacDonald's seven wins in November are the most by any NHL goaltender. Boston's Tim Thomas and Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom are tied for second with six wins each this month.  :-)


11:46 a.m.

First it was Slap Shot night, then it was Patrick Roy night, but the time warp continues down in Worcester as Claude Lemieux has signed with the minor league Sharks in an attempt to resume his hockey career. The AP writes:

Claude Lemieux Montreal Canadiens 2003 Heritage Classic Megastars game
San Jose, Calif. (AP) — Claude Lemieux signed a contract with the San Jose Sharks' AHL affiliate in Worcester on Tuesday, officially resuming his pro hockey career after a five-year absence...the 43-year-old Lemieux has said he wants to make a comeback to the NHL, where he last played for Dallas in 2003.
"Claude called and inquired about resuming his hockey career, and we have given him an opportunity to pursue it with Worcester," said Wayne Thomas, the Worcester Sharks' general manager and San Jose's assistant GM…Lemieux played two games with the China Sharks, San Jose's affiliate in Shanghai, earlier this year while he contemplated a comeback.
"I would like to thank Wayne Thomas and the Worcester Sharks for the opportunity to show I can still play this game at a high level," Lemieux said. "I look forward to meeting my new teammates and helping Worcester on the ice."

All I can say is, “Wow.”

But, hey, I am rooting for him.

Why, you ask?

It would be something to see Milan Lucic get a chance to play against one of his mentor’s archenemies when the B’s host the San Jose Sharks in February. I mean, Bruins VP Cam Neely and Mr. Lemieux had some pretty memorable meetings back in the day.

Buff B’s in Buffalo
Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic (17) is checked by Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jaroslav Spacek, right, as Buffalo Sabres goalie Patrick Lalime (40) protects the net during the third period of their NHL hockey game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008. The Bruins beat the Sabres 7-4. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
An almost healthy Boston Bruins club should have hit the ice at HSBC Arena 11:30 – the only players missing are Andrew Ference, who still has some time to go towards healing his leg, and Marco Sturm.

“No, still no Marco,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien before hopping a plane to Western New York on Tuesday. “Well, not to make the trip anyway and I think it’s looking optimistic that once we get back we’ll hopefully see some positive results there.

“Our trainers keep telling us that he’s still day-to-day, so we have to trust in them. Everybody else was out there today.”

Looking toward the game, Julien intimated that he expects nothing from the best from the Bruins opponents.

“We have to expect a lot out of every team that we’re going to play from here on (out), because as long as we keep winning hockey games we become an easy team to get motivated against,” he explained. “Everybody’s going to want to break that streak at some point and they’re going to come out hard.

“Teams have nothing to lose by going out and giving it everything they have against us, and we have to be prepared for that kind of showing from every team we play.”
View More