HAMILTON: Sabres look to improve against the Bruins
Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) -- The Sabres took advantage of a flat Boston team for the first 10 minutes, but the Bruins played better as the period wore on.
It took 8:22 for Zdeno Chara to get Boston’s first shot on Jhonas Enroth. By that time the Sabres had taken a 1-0 lead.
Bruins defenseman Torey Krug saw Brian Flynn coming at him full speed and totally bailed on the play. Flynn grabbed to puck and found a wide open Zemgus Girgensons who snuck in his 6th under Chad Johnson’s pads.
"I just kind of popped around the guy and beat him to the puck," said Flynn. "I saw "Z" standing out front and he got a quick shot on five-hole."
Carl Soderberg easily won his battle with Cody Hodgson behind the Buffalo net and he put a slick backhand pass out to Chris Kelly who was left alone to the right of Enroth who was back in the net and tight up against the post giving Kelly all sorts of room far side to tie it.
Overall Buffalo skated better than it did Tuesday night against Carolina. Drew Stafford made a strong move to the net around Dougie Hamilton, but was stopped by Johnson.
Christian Ehrhoff probably was the most active I’ve seen him in a game since he got here against the Hurricanes and continued that against the Bruins. Ehrhoff, who comes in with four goals and 14 assists for 18 points in his last 25 games played needs to be like that to be effective.
Boston got its legs in the second period and came back from a 3-1 deficit to tie it. The difference after 40 minutes has been goaltending, Buffalo’s gotten it and Boston has not.
Brad Marchand and Tyler Myers hacked each other with Marchand getting the only penalty and Myers made him pay. Cody Hodgson’s shot from the left point came off the back wall and Myers put his 7th into the empty net.
Less than four minutes later, Ville Leino and Flynn worked a nice give and go with Flynn scoring just his second goal in 24 games. It was another one that Johnson would want back.
A veteran team like Boston isn’t going to panic down two goals to the worst team in the league. Boston got a power play of its own and Chara camped in front. Henrik Tallinder and Matt Ellis tried, but neither one could handle the big Boston captain and he scored his 9th power play goal.
Buffalo has six defensemen dressed, but Ted Nolan is using John Scott as a 7th and it cost them the lead. Reilly Smith stripped Scott of the puck and gave Marchand a perfect feed in front and he made no mistake bagging his 20th.
Enroth was great making 16 saves including coming across the crease to rob Loui Eriksson when it looked like he had a wide open net. Right before that, Smith was open in the slot only to be foiled by Enroth.
Midway through the third, Buffalo had picked up its game, but Matt Moulson got a four minute high sticking penalty.
Boston took advantage getting its first lead of the game when Krug found Lucic at the left point. Enroth was down and out and the big winger pounded home his 18th.
If the Sabres wanted to win a game against a good team it was certainly there for them when the Bruins were rusty. On the other hand, Buffalo had no business beating Carolina Tuesday and it did.
In fact, the Sabres found that they had it in them to battle back with the Bruins. With Enroth pulled, the Sabres took advantage of their extra skater, as Buffalo worked the puck behind the net to Matt Moulson, who threw the puck out in front hoping for a chance for someone to shovel it in only to tie the game himself.
"It took a bit of a lucky bounce," said Moulson. "I was actually trying to get it to Stafford and it hit one of their guys skates and came right back to me, off the post, off the goalie then in."
Just 22 seconds into overtime, Matt D'Agostini took advantage of a sluggish Zdeno Chara, blowing by the giant defensman and scoring on the breakaway to win the game for the Sabres.
"It's probably a big monkey off of Jhonas's back," said D'Agostini. "He's been playing great. He just hasn't gotten the bounces at the end of the games to get the "W", so it's good to get him one."
The win was Enroth's second win of the season, his first since a 45 save effort against the Panthers back in October. Enroth said "It felt very nice to win finally again. This was the kind of game I've had against me, so it was nice to get one of these for me."