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game recap

Bruins defeat Sabres for sixth straight win

Marchand, Pastrnak each has two points; Buffalo loses third in four

by Heather Engel / Independent Correspondent

Pastrnak wires it home from slot

BOS@BUF: Pastrnak cuts to the slot and buries a shot

David Pastrnak skates in, makes a move to the slot and whips a wrister that finds the back of the cage, giving the Bruins a 3-1 lead in the 3rd

  • 00:46 •

BUFFALO -- Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each had a goal and an assist to help the Boston Bruins extend their winning streak to six games with a 5-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Thursday.

The Bruins have outscored their opponents 22-7 during their streak.

"Not a lot of poor stretches," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "I think that shows in our goals against. We don't have these lulls where we have pockets of poor puck management shift after shift. I think we've had some, no doubt, where we haven't executed well enough.

"Some of that is the skill of the player at times and some of it is us preaching having good awareness of where we are in the game. ... The skill part, we'll keep encouraging the guys to execute well and support the puck well."

David Krejci, Matt Grzelcyk and Nick Ritchie scored for Boston (27-12-6). Jeremy Swayman made 29 saves.

The Bruins are fourth in the MassMutual East Division, eight points ahead of the fifth-place New York Rangers, and three behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders. The top four teams qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Arttu Ruotsalainen scored, and Dustin Tokarski made 33 saves for Buffalo (12-28-7), which lost 2-0 here Tuesday. The teams play here again Friday.

"I'll watch the film and go over it and could have a different thought on it," Sabres coach Don Granato said. "I thought we played a much more aggressive game (than Tuesday). When I mentioned the shot mentality the other night, we were missing an aggressive attack, puck-pressure mentality. We were better in that area tonight. We played better tonight, there's no question. We played better. We didn't get any breaks."

Video: BOS@BUF: Ruotsalainen puts home a one-timer in front

Marchand gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 12:36 of the first period. Mike Reilly's point shot hit Sabres defenseman Jacob Bryson in front and bounced to Marchand at the side of the net.

Ruotsalainen tied it 1-1 at 5:27 of the second period on a one-timer from the slot off a pass from Anders Bjork.

Matt Grzelcyk made it 2-1 with a point shot that beat Tokarski glove side at 12:50.

Video: BOS@BUF: Grzelcyk buries a wrister from the point

The Sabres had four of their five power-play opportunities in the second period. They are 0-for-11 in the past two games.

"Obviously, it's frustrating, for sure," Buffalo forward Casey Mittelstadt said. "If we get a power-play goal there with all the penalties in the second, it's a different game, so, yeah, I think it's a better mix of we've got to do a better job of helping each other if we run into trouble. … Yeah, it's definitely something that's frustrating and we've got to be better at."

Pastrnak extended the lead to 3-1 when he cut around Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin into the slot at 4:55 of the third period.

"[Pastrnak] just didn't have it (last game) for whatever reason," Cassidy said. "It was going off his stick. Today he just felt much more comfortable hitting his shot, through the neutral zone, making some plays. Sauce passes that were on the tape. One-on-one moves where the puck's sticking to him like it used to. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for him because he's fought it a little bit lately."

Ritchie scored from the left circle at 6:01 of the third to push it to 4-1. Krejci scored on the rebound of his shot in front of the net at 18:02 for the 5-1 final.

"These points are super crucial and we understand that but, again, we're taking every game as a playoff game," Swayman said. "I think at this point we're making sure that we're doing whatever we can to get two points." 

NOTES: Marchand has scored 12 of his 25 goals in 13 games in April; he scored 13 goals in 30 games prior. It is his eighth season with at least 25 goals, tying Phil Esposito and Cam Neely for third-most in Bruins history, trailing Johnny Bucyk (11) and Rick Middleton (9). … The Sabres are 1-for-18 on the power play against the Bruins this season.

Video: Marchand, Grzelcyk have 2 points each in 5-1 victory

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