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Sabres Get Halaked and Bergeron Scores Two Goals in 3-0 Bruins Win

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Jaro Halak made 26 saves for his third shutout of the season, Patrice Bergeron scored two goals and defenseman Brandon Carlo added a late empty-net goal as the Boston Bruins returned from the holiday break with a 3-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo Friday night. 

Brad Marchand assisted on all three goals and David Pastrnak got helpers on both of Bergeron’s goals. Bergeron now has now scored two goals in each of the last three games and has nine goals in nine games since returning from a lower-body injury back on December 9 in Ottawa. 

Carlo’s fourth goal of the season capped off a monster game for him as he filled in for the injured Charlie McAvoy (lower-body) on the top pairing with Zdeno Chara and played a game-high 26:22 and blocked three shots.

The Bruins went 1-for-4 on the powerplay and the Sabres were 0-for-2.

This was the first game of a home-and-home that concludes Sunday night in Boston in what will be the third meeting of the season between the two Atlantic Division and longtime rivals.

Bruins Overcome Slow Start Behind Halak

The Sabres dominated the Bruins for the first five minutes of the game, out-shooting them 8-2 and dominating in puck possession. They failed to score on a powerplay from a Pastrnak hooking call at 6:38 of the period though and that penalty kill seemed to wake the Bruins up a bit. The Bruins got a powerplay of their own thanks to an Evan Rodrigues holding call at 9:37 of the opening frame. They generated some chances but Ullmark was solid and kept the game scoreless. 

As the period wound down though, the two teams started to trade chances and with just over two minutes left, former Bruin Marcus Johansson broke down the wing and ripped one far side high. Halak snagged it with a quick snap glove save.

Gagne-Bergeron Pro-Am

Just about a minute later, a frustrated Johansson got caught holding Bruins forward Charlie Coyle and the Bruins headed onto their second powerplay of the period with 29 seconds left in the period. This time the Bruins wasted no time on the man advantage as ‘The Perfection Line’ formed a perfect passing triangle with Bergeron finishing it off from ‘the bumper’ spot for his 16th of the season. Pastrnak got the primary assist on this Bergeron lamplighter and Marchand the secondary. 

Bergeron Gets A Pair Again

Thanks to eleven saves from Halak and Bergeron’s hot stick, the Bruins carried a 1-0 lead into the second period and came out flying in the middle frame, outshooting the Sabres 5-0. Ullmark held the fort down though, including some brilliant saves on a third Bruins’ powerplay at 14:41, and kept the game at 1-0 Bruins until Bergeron struck again for his 17th goal at 18:26 to make it 2-0. Pastrnak picked the puck from Sabres forward Jimmy Vesey, got it to Marchand and Bergeron took a beautiful feed from Marchand at the doorstep and buried it home for his second of the game. 

Both teams found themselves on the powerplay in the first ten minutes of the third period but neither would convert. Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin did hit the crossbar right after the Sabres’ second powerplay ended and the Bruins somehow survived an ensuing flurry of chances in front.

Carlo’s Hard Work Rewarded

The two teams would go scoreless until Carlo’s empty-netter at 18:06 of the period after the Sabres had pulled Ullmark with three minutes left in the game. Coyle got the primary assist and Marchand got his third helper of the game. 

 

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

Copyright ©2020 National Hockey Now and Boston Hockey Now.

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