BOSTON – Jake DeBrusk was benched early in the Boston Bruins Sunday night battle at TD Garden against the Buffalo Sabres. After being a zero early in the contest, DeBrusk was the hero as the Bruins edged their rivals 3-2 to complete a home-and-home sweep.
DeBrusk scored two goals in 18 seconds to break a tie and give the Bruins a valuable insurance marker early in the third period. He scored his tenth goal of the season at 2:37 of the final frame while the Bruins were on a powerplay. DeBrusk tipped a Steven Kampfer shot by Linus Ullmark after shaking free from two Sabres defensemen.
DeBrusk’s second goal, the eventual game-winner, came 18 seconds later when he fired a shot from a bad angle that fooled Ullmark. It was his eleventh of the season.
Tuukka Rask made 24 saves en route to a victory, while Ullmark made 19 stops in the loss. Ullmark suffered the loss in both sets of the home-and-home series between the clubs.
The Bruins opened the scoring 12:39 into the hockey game when David Pastrnak made his presence known. The lethal sniper buried his 29th of the season on the rush. Brad Marchand collected his 39th assist on the season feeding Pastrnak for the tally.
Patrice Bergeron sets up the 2 on 1 and David Pastrnak buries a feed from Brad Marchand
— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) December 30, 2019
The Sabres would even things up in the middle frame off an odd sequence. Rasmus Ristolainen took a feed off the rush from Sam Reinhart and rifled a shot on Rask. Rask made the initial save, but Zdeno Chara accidentally put the rebound into his own goal to even the score.
The bad luck bounce for the Bruins pushed the game into the third period at one each. That’s where the Sabres would take two penalties at the same time to give the Bruins a four minute powerplay. Johan Larsson would get whistled for tripping DeBrusk and hooking Marchand in a truly amazing sequence.
That’s where DeBrusk struck, tipping home the 2-1 goal and then finding a hole on Ullmark to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead at 2:55.
Jake DeBrusk tips a Kampfer shot home for his first goal of the night…. pic.twitter.com/ZA0xOYm9k5
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) December 30, 2019
Curtis Lazar snagged his second goal of the season at 5:08. He collected a rebound off a Ristolainen shot and jammed it in behind Rask to give the Sabres life.
With just 4:09 left in the contest, the Bruins took a penalty that gave the Sabres a real chance to even the score, but Rask slammed the door shut to cement two key divisional points for the Bruins.
The Bruins return to the ice on Tuesday at 1:00 pm when they visit the New Jersey Devils.