The Sabres lone goal scored by Rasmus Ristolainen on to end Tuuka Rask‘s shutout with 2:38 remaining would not be enough to beat the Bruins Saturday night at TD Garden.
Rask made 31 saves to lead the Bruins to their fourth straight win 2-1 against Buffalo.
It only took 20 seconds into the action before Chris Wagner banged one home for the Bruins just after Sean Kuraly interfered with Linus Ullmark and putting him out of position to make the save.
The call was quickly overturned, then challenged by Boston in which the call stood as called on the ice as no goal, due to goaltender interference.
Boston opened up the game’s scoring with a defensive mistake by 2018 NHL 1st overall pick Rasmus Dahlin giving the puck up in his own zone.
Dahlin, took a short pass from Evan Rodriques, then instead of passing it to Jeff Skinner on the boards, he moved the puck to Noel Acciari in the slot. Acciari then tapped the puck with a one handed touch pass up to Wagner who put it in the net for a nice wrist shot to beat Ullmark glove side high.
Boston ended the period with a three-on-two rush with Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson sending a long pass to Ryan Donato for the one-time opportunity, which Ullmark stopped and gave up no rebound.
Boston pretty much put Buffalo on their heels for most of the period and outshot them 13-10 in the first period.
Boston came out hot starting the second period putting the pressure on Ullmark by throwing 5 shots on him in the first two minutes. Boston captain Zdeno Chara controlled the puck behind Buffalo’s net, seemingly untested by the Sabres just 1:15 into the frame.
David Backes scored his fourth goal of the season on a two-on-one breakaway exactly two minutes into the period, ripping one glove side high on Ullmark.
At just about the mid way point, Kuraly, took a long pass from Wagner on the right wing and drove to the crease putting a solid shot right on the pads for Ullmark to grab the puck and hangs on for a faceoff.
18:51 – Buffalo’s Jeff Skinner drove to the net and went from forehand to backhand to shoot the puck right into Rask’s glove with under two minutes remaining.
There were no penalties in the second period and Boston out shot Buffalo 15-10.
Skinner broke away on a quick two-on-one with over three and half minutes into the third period and went five-hole for a nice save by Rask.
Ristolainen took the puck from the neutral zone and weaved himself between defenders on the right wall before taking his shot from the right faceoff circle and ending Rask’s shutout with under three minutes remaining in the game.
Sabres coach Phil Housley pulled the goalie, but their was no rhythm or pressure to tie it up. Boston limited their opponents chances and skated away with a one goal victory at home.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
The Sabres that once topped the NHL standing this season are now clinging to the second wild card spot. Boston now jumps the Sabres in the standings with a dog fight, between the Islanders, Canadians, Boston and the Sabres.