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game recap

Bruins shut out Sabres, spoil Dahlin debut

Halak makes 32 saves, Marchand has four assists for Boston

by Dave McCarthy / Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves, and Brad Marchand had four assists to help the Boston Bruins defeat the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 at KeyBank Center on Thursday.

"It feels great," Halak said. "It would be also nice if we only got the win, but it makes it more special that I had a shutout. It was a great team effort tonight, we all knew that last night was just a bad effort all around and we needed to be better."


[WATCH: All Bruins vs. Sabres highlights]


Zdeno Chara, Ryan Donato, David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron scored for the Bruins (1-1-0), who lost 7-0 at the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. 

"Our core guys [stepped up], we all knew to a man from the coaching staff on down we weren't good enough last night, so we needed to be better today and we were," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "Guys we count on led and the followers followed."

Video: BOS@BUF: Donato finishes pretty passing play for PPG

Buffalo captain Jack Eichel said the Sabres were more passive than they should have been in their season opener. They played their final preseason game six days earlier.

"Maybe at times we were thinking too much, sitting on our heels, not on our toes, not going after it," the center said. "It's our first time playing a game in a week and I thought at times we were on our heels, not on our toes and making the quick play. It's not the outcome we wanted on our home opener."

The Bruins made it 1-0 at 6:33 of the first period when Marchand carried the puck into the offensive zone, pulled up on the right wing and found Chara with a cross-ice pass. Chara skated through the slot and shot past Carter Hutton's blocker at the bottom of the left face-off circle.

Video: BOS@BUF: Chara joins the rush, beats Hutton

"I knew guys were coming in, I didn't know who was where until I kind of turned up, but Bergeron did a great job of clearing that lane for me when he drove through to the net," Marchand said. "[Chara] is great at finding that hole. He just had a ton of room of there. I just had to get it through (to him) and luckily it got there."

Donato made it 2-0 when he one-timed a pass from Marchand at the side of the net on the power play at 15:34.

"It always helps when you play with the lead, especially early in the season with home openers," Chara said. "You could sense the fans were waiting for that goal and we didn't let them have it and we kept it pretty quiet for most of the night. When you have to chase the game, you're always on the short end."

Pastrnak scored at 16:16 of the second period to make it 3-0 when he one-timed a pass from David Krejci at the top of the goal crease. 

Bergeron scored into an empty net with 12 seconds left to make it 4-0. 

The Sabres pulled Hutton with 5:03 remaining and played with an extra skater until Bergeron's goal.

Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, the No. 1 pick by the Sabres in the 2018 NHL Draft, was minus-1 in 22:37 of ice time in his NHL debut. 

Video: BOS@BUF: Dahlin levels DeBrusk on first shift

"I learned how a regular-season game is," Dahlin said. "I'm just looking forward to the next game. We've got to do it better. It was OK. Of course we lost so I can't say we had a good game. It was what it was."

Hutton made 22 saves for Buffalo.


They said it

"It was another home opener, we knew we had to be playing much better, with a much better pace and work way harder than we did yesterday and it paid off. You could see guys were really coming back, guys had good sticks, we were blocking shots, making plays, so I thought it was a good 60-minute effort." -- Bruins captain Zdeno Chara on responding after losing Wednesday


"It's not so much our younger players, I thought our younger players played pretty well. Some of our veteran guys, they've got to make a choice. They've got to play the right way or they're going to come back and play defense and spend energy where we don't want to spend energy. We want to spend our energy going forward. Yes, we're going to have to defend at times … but for the most part, we were our own worst enemy tonight." -- Sabres coach Phil Housley


Need to know

Marchand tied his NHL career high for assists in a game. He had four against the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 6, 2018.


What's next

Bruins: Host the Ottawa Senators on Monday (1 p.m. ET; NESN, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV)

Sabres: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, MSG, NHL.TV)


Video: Marchand dishes out four assists in Bruins' 4-0 win

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