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game recap

Bruins defeat Sabres in first game after Hall trade

Forward makes Boston debut in shootout win; Ullmark leaves with injury

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Coyle's shootout winner

BUF@BOS: Coyle scores in the shootout

Charlie Coyle scores in the shootout to lead the Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Sabres

  • 00:23 •

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins won Taylor Hall's debut with them, 3-2 in a shootout against the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Tuesday.

The forward, who was acquired with forward Curtis Lazar in a trade with Buffalo on Monday, was plus-1 and had three shots on goal in 16:43 of ice time. Lazar had one shot in 12:58, and defenseman Mike Reilly, traded to Boston by the Ottawa Senators on Sunday, had five shots in 22:17.

"Three guys that helped us win a hockey game, that's their job," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We'll build them in as we go and see how they best fit, but first impressions were good."

Craig Smith scored in his 700th NHL game and had an assist, and Jeremy Swayman made 21 saves for the Bruins (22-12-6), who lost their previous two games and lead the New York Rangers by three points for fourth place in the eight-team MassMutual East Division. The top four teams in each division qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Video: BUF@BOS: Smith wires home shot past Tokarski

Rasmus Dahlin scored the game-tying goal in the third period, and Anders Bjork had an assist in his debut with the Sabres (10-25-7), who have gotten a point in seven of nine (4-2-3).

"We didn't feel ourselves; the game wasn't easy for us," Buffalo coach Don Granato said. "I think we responded, not because I said anything, although we did speak of it because I don't think our guys were happy with the first period. I don't think they were happy with how they felt, and they elevated. It was really nice to see, nice to see that response by our guys. The competitive level just rose."

Linus Ullmark made three saves before leaving the game with a lower-body injury at 4:54 of the first period. Dustin Tokarski allowed two goals on 31 shots and did not stop either of two shootout attempts.

Ullmark left the game 38 seconds after he made a save against Reilly. He was slow to get up and was soon replaced by Tokarski.

"We will not have an update until the earliest tomorrow to see how he would respond," Granato said of Ullmark.

Bjork, who was part of the Hall trade, had one shot in 13:55.

"It's a fun group," Bjork said. "They remained positive and focused on competing. It was cool. We didn't get the result we wanted, but we were close against a good team. [It's] something to build off of, and personally I know I can be a lot better too."

Colin Miller gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead at 1:52 of the first period on a one-timer from beyond the circles.

David Krejci tied it 1-1 when he backhanded a rebound past Tokarski at 13:20.

Smith gave Boston a 2-1 lead at 5:29 of the second period with a wrist shot from the right circle.

Dahlin, who turned 21 Tuesday, tied it 2-2 with a slap shot from just inside the right point at 11:53 of the third period.

"It was a really tough game, fast pace and a lot of hitting," Dahlin said. "The first two periods we just kind of stayed back, and then into the third period we talked about puck possessions and make plays and be more confident because we know we can play these games."

Video: BUF@BOS: Dahlin buries slap shot for game-tying goal

Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk scored in the shootout for the Bruins, and Swayman made two saves before he pointed to the ceiling in honor of his coach from the University of Maine, Red Gendron, who died Friday.

"I love the shootout. I think it's one of the best parts of the game if we get to it," Swayman said. "And obviously today I was able to try that. And it was pretty cool to get the win, and the home crowd, it was a pretty special moment. I know that I wasn't alone out there, so it was pretty emotional at the end."

NOTES: The Bruins have won eight in a row against the Sabres, their second-longest active streak against one opponent; they've won 16 straight against the Arizona Coyotes. Buffalo has not defeated Boston since a 4-2 victory Dec. 16, 2018. … Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy returned after missing four games with an upper-body injury. He had two shots on goal and was plus-1 in 25:04 of ice time.

Video: Smith, Coyle lead Bruins to shootout victory

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