The Buffalo Sabres played host to the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, Wednesday evening. Anytime the Bruins are in town, you as a hockey fan are guaranteed an interesting match in one form or another; however, Buffalo fans had to be absolutely blown away last night to witness their home team shutout the current standing Champs at a tally of 6-0.
Ryan Miller earned his third shutout of this season—(his second in just three games) making 36 saves to lock a shutout for the Sabres. His best save came seven minutes in, when he kicked out his right pad just in time to stop David Krejci, who had set up to strike in front. Miller has allowed five goals in five starts.
Tuukka Rask was pulled from the net within a mere 22 minutes after he allowed three goals in on only ten shots from his Buffalo opponents. Tim Thomas gave up three goals on nineteen shots in his relief efforts.
The closest the Bruins came to scoring was when Lucic had a goal disallowed (8:20) in – it was a point shot that would've tied the tally at 1, but the referee ruled ‘no goal’, as Rich Peverley was called for interfering with Miller.
Of course there was 'dancing' as is to be expected when the Bruins are visit -- physically, the Sabres held their own in this court as well. Kaleta got into a fight with Lucic in the first period, and they danced again in the final minutes of the same period after Lucic cross-checked Kaleta in the back of the head.
Shawn Thorton hopped off the Bruin bench with just under a minute left in the seocnd to tango with Mike Weber for a brief spell. Thorton packs a nice whopper with either hand and this fan does enjoy to watch him slug a few out--(video at the bottom of this article).
Lucic has been targeted by the Sabres since he bowled over Miller in Buffalo's 6-2 loss at Bostonon Nov. 12th – where Miller sustained a concussion and whiplash from the collision.
"We're not going to back down," Pominville said. "Guys stepped in. Some of them played out of character. Everybody did different things to help us win. And that's what a team is all about."
What a game for the head coach of the Sabres to have had to watch from the sidelines! Lindy Ruff was seated in the press box nursing three broken ribs, while his squad took down the Bruins.
Following the game, Miller stated that the performance put forth by his team is that of which they need to play every game -- regardless of who is behind their bench or present within their line up.
I’m sure the majority of the teams in the NHL would trade anything for this kind of night against the Bruins—but it will take one solid squad to play at this level consistently on a nightly basis anywhere across the board.
Adding to the Buffalo tally, Tyler Ennis had a goal and assist. Drew Stafford, Christian Ehrhoff and Patrick Kaleta aided in building the Buffalo scoring tally. The Sabres scored twice in each period.
Buffalo is on a roll currently, having gone 4-0-1 in its past five.
Boston, who currently leads their Northeastern Division, fell to (5-6-1) in their past 12 games. This Bruins squad now has not won two straight since beating Winnipeg and Montrealback in the middle of January 2012.
When interviewed post-game, Thomas had this to say: "I guess we were due for a game like that….in the big picture, it doesn't matter if we lost 2-0 or 2-1 or 5-0 or whatever. We just have to pick ourselves up off the ground."
Miller was also quoted as stating that the Bruins are a team that likes to intimidate their opponents and push players around; but that if good hockey is played and a team hangs in there that the Boston brand of intimidation really makes no difference.
After reading this comment all this fan was reminded of was back during the Stanley Cup Finals last season, when Luongo chose to make some comments that were a bit more personal -- guided at Thomas and his style of ‘leaving the net’. Maybe Miller and the Sabres should simply savor their moment in the limelight—as I am sure we all recall how the Bruins handled the Canucks following Luongo’s statements and traveled home with Lord Stanley as their guest of honor.
The Bruins may have lost in a stunning shutout last evening; however, they are far from being counted out of this season’s playoff race.
1st Period: 6:23 Christian Ehrhoff -- Assist: Tyler Myers; 14:49 Jason Pominville -- Assists: Ville Leino, Mike Weber
2nd Period: 1:52 Tyler Ennis -- Assist: Andrej Sekera; 18:11 Patrick Kaleta -- Assist: Paul Gaustad
3rd Period: 1:18 Jason Pominville -- Assists: Ville Leino, Andrej Sekera; 18:58 Drew Stafford -- Assists: Tyler Ennis, Nathan Gerbe