The Bruins’ return from the Olympic break wasn’t pretty, as they blew a third-period lead and fell to the Sabres, 5-4, in overtime.
Boston took its first lead of the game in the third period, with Milan Lucic  blasting a slapshot on the power play past a collection of bodies. The lead wouldn’t last, as the Sabres tied the game in the final minute with the goalie pulled and Matt D’Agostini scored 22 seconds into overtime.
The teams traded goals in the first period, with Zemgus Girgensons taking a feed from Brian Flynn in front and beating Chad Johnson  at 3:32 and Chris Kelly  tying the game off a beautiful behind-the-back pass from Carl Soderberg.
The Sabres were able to jump out to a 3-1 lead in the second period, capitalizing on a bad call against Brad Marchand  with a Tyler Myers power play goal and getting an even strength tally from Brian Flynn. Zdeno Chara  brought the B’s within one with a power play goal in front of Jhonas Enroth. Brad Marchand  tied the game with his team-leading 20th goal of the season.
The Bruins will next play Saturday when they host the Capitals at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Myers certainly seemed to be the aggressor in a second-period dustup with Marchand, but only Marchand was assessed a penalty (slashing). Officials missed Myers punching Marchand, and Myers poured salt on the wound shortly after with a power play goal. Marchand gets away with a lot, so he’ll always be the victim of reputation calls. That was the case Wednesday.
– Everyone knows Torey Krug isn’t the biggest guy in the league, but neither is Brian Flynn, who knocked Krug off the puck in the corner to set up Girgensons’ goal. Being strong in his own zone will probably always be a challenge for Krug, but the 6-foot-0, 170-pound Flynn shouldn’t be able to outmuscle him with that much ease.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– The good thing about playing against John Scott is that he isn’t any good at hockey. Reilly Smith didn’t need to break a sweat in taking the puck from him behind the net on a second-period play and feeding Marchand to tie the game. A note to the Sabres for future reference: Maybe you don’t want to have a sub-NHL caliber player out on the ice as a defenseman against Patrice Bergeron ‘s line.
– Chris Kelly  had a strong game for the B’s in what was probably his best showing since returning from his broken fibula. In addition to his first-period goal, Kelly had multiple chances in the second period, most notably a shorthanded breakaway in which he was stopped by Enroth. Kelly took a high stick to the face in the third period but stayed in the game.
– Krug made up for his first-period gaffe throughout the game. He drew a hooking penalty on Girgensons in the second period and fired the shot that got through to set up Chara’s goal, but his best work came on Boston’s third-period power play, as he dominated the shift leading to Lucic’s goal, capped by him chasing down the puck behind the net and feeding Lucic.
Shortly after Lucic’s goal, Krug beat Nick Foligno to a puck in the Bruins zone and knocked it away.