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Sabres hand Bruins first regulation loss of season

The Bruins suffered their first regulation loss of the season Thursday, dropping a 7-4 contest to the Sabres at TD Garden in a game that stopped a four-game skid for Buffalo.

The teams skated to a scoreless first period thats most only notable action came when John Scott pulverized Shawn Thornton [1] in a short-lived fight that knocked Thornton out of the game, but a combined six goals in the second period opened things up quite a bit.

Though the Sabres jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Thomas Vanek‘s first goal of a hat trick performance, the B’s answered back with Rich Peverley [2]‘s first of the year and a pair of goals from Brad Marchand [3]. Vanek and Tyler Ennis then scored to make it 3-3 heading into the third, and though David Krejci [4] gave the B’s the lead 1:45 in, three unanswered goals from Alexander Sulzer, Cody Hodgson and Vanek put the game out of reach in Buffalo’s favor. Jason Pominville added an empty-netter with 13.6 seconds remaining.

The B’s, now 5-1-1 on the season, will return to action Saturday night in Toronto.


– It did not look good for Thornton, who was dropped in such quick fashion that enforcers throughout the league will have to think three or four times before fighting the 6-foot-8, 270-pound Scott.

– Overall it was a defensively sloppy performance for the Bruins once the Sabres mounted their comeback in the second period. Zdeno Chara [5] was on the ice for three of opponent’s goals, which is something you don’t see every day.

– For the third time in seven games, the Bruins’ penalty kill had to deal with a 5-on-3, but Thursday’s was for a full-two minutes, as Milan Lucic [6] and Zdeno Chara [5] went off for boarding and holding, respectively, as 15:45 of the second period. The Sabres cashed in, with Vanek scoring his second goal of the game. The goal made it the second straight game in which the Bruins have allowed a power play goal.

– The Bruins negated half of a Tyler Myers double-minor for high sticking with the Bruins trailing by a goal in the third when Dennis Seidenberg [7] took a tripping penalty about a minute into the power play. The B’s failed to capitalize on the two total minutes they did get on the man advantage and went 0-for-4 on the power play for the night.


– Because of everything else he brings to the table between his two-way play and his mouth, Marchand’s actual skill level can go unnoticed. The Sabres noticed it a bit too late on the 24-year-old’s first goal, as he took a pass from Patrice Bergeron [8] at the blue line, went around Tyler Myers and executed a toe drag across the front of the net that took both Jordan Leopold and Ryan Miller [9] across in unison before flipping it into the net. Marchand now has a team-high five goals on the season.

– Though he still has yet to score a real goal this season (he does have an empty-netter to his name), Tyler Seguin [10] had his strongest performance of the early campaign. He had scoring chances on which he failed to capitalize (missing the net in the first period on a feed from Marchand and getting stopped in the second period after batting down a Gregory Campbell [11] shot), but Seguin did more of the little things that have often been missing from his game. Most notably, Seguin battled in front of the net with two bigger defenders in order to create enough havoc for Marchand to fire his second goal of the game past Miller.

– Speaking of skill, David Krejci’s success this season continued, as he showed fantastic patience in delaying to take a sliding Leopold out of the picture to allow him to beat Miller stick-side from the right circle. It was Krejci’s second goal of the season, but he has been a very easy candidate for the team’s best offensive player through seven games. Both Krejci and Nathan Horton [12] now have five-game point streaks.

– Peverley’s goal was long overdue not only for him, but for Chris Kelly [13]‘s line as a whole. The goal, which came as a result of some hard work in front from Daniel Paille [14] before Peverley controlled the puck in the high slot and fired a quick shot past Miller.