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At the Horn: Sabres 2 - Bruins 3

Double-minor proves costly in loss at Boston

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

A pair of power-play goals from Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk broke a 1-1 tied in the third period and stood as the difference in a 3-2 loss for the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Sunday. 

DeBrusk's goals were scored 18 seconds apart after Johan Larsson was assessed concurrent minor penalties at the 1:23 mark of the period. David Pastrnak also scored for the Bruins, while Tuukka Rask made 24 saves.

Rasmus Ristolainen and Curtis Lazar scored goals for the Sabres. Linus Ullmark made 19 saves.

 

What happened

The Sabres controlled the first period to the tune of a 7-2 shot advantage. The Bruins' second shot, however, came off the stick of Pastrnak on a 2-on-1 rush to open the scoring with 7:21 remaining. 

Ristolainen found himself on the receiving end of another 2-on-1 rush to even the score 6:37 into the second. The Sabres killed three penalties in the period to carry the 1-1 tie into the second intermission. 

The Bruins power play, ranked third in the NHL at 26.4 percent, broke through in the third. Larsson was called for tripping DeBrusk in the neutral zone and then, before the whistle blew, was assessed a separate minor for hooking to set up the Bruins with four minutes of power-play time. 

DeBrusk scored twice on the ensuing power plays. His first goal, scored at 2:37 of the period, came on a deflection of a shot from the point by Steven Kampfer. Eighteen seconds later, he took a shot from along the goal line that bounced in over Ullmark's pad. 

The Sabres responded promptly, with Lazar burying the rebound of a Ristolainen shot to make it a one-goal game at the 5:08 mark, but they were kept off the board from that point on.  

 

What it means

For the third time in as many meetings, the Sabres came out on the losing end against Boston despite holding an edge in both shots and 5-on-5 attempts. 

Special teams once again played a key role. The Sabres were unsuccessful on two power plays in the first period and then had a chance to tie the game with Bruins forward Brett Ritchie in the box for hooking late in the third. The power play is now 1-for-9 in the three meetings with Boston this season. 

The loss is Buffalo's third in a row and fifth in six games. 

 

Roll the Highlight Film 

Sam Reinhart patiently held onto the puck before squeezing a pass in front of Zdeno Chara to set up Ristolainen's second-period goal. Rask got a piece of Ristolainen's shot, but Larsson pushed Chara into the puck to make it cross the goal line:

Video: BUF@BOS: Ristolainen scores with an assist from Chara

 

Up next

The Sabres host the Tampa Bay Lightning on New Year's Eve. Coverage on MSG begins at 6:30 p.m., or you can listen to the game on WGR 550. Puck drop is scheduled for 7. 

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