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Game 28 Live Blog: Boston Bruins @ Buffalo Sabres

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Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Boston Bruins leading the Buffalo Sabres by a 3-1 score after the opening 40 minutes at the First Niagara Center.

  • Four shot attempts, two takeaways, a dented post and a goal for Craig Smith, who has enjoyed his A+ game tonight for the Black and Gold. Great skating legs, right on target with his shot and making things happen with he way he’s playing.

 

  • Full credit to Jake DeBrusk winning some battles and continuing to bring something to the table. He was able to draw a high-sticking call on Matt Irwin when he pushed to the front of the net and then he scored the goal at the same net-front position after a David Pastrnak one-timer bounced high up into the air. Three shots on net and a hit to go along with the PP goal for DeBrusk in a solid, solid game.

 

  • Posts for Brad Marchand and Smith in the second period or this could even worse as the Buffalo Sabres just look dreadful.

 

  • Trent Frederic dinged up in the second period and wasn’t out for the final 20 minutes in Buffalo.

 

  • Quietly solid game for Jaroslav Halak tonight. The only goal that beat him wasn’t really his fault given it deflected off Matt Grzelcyk’s stick and otherwise he’s been excellent after getting some rest following Dan Vladar’s start on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Boston Bruins leading the Buffalo Sabres by a 1-0 score after the opening 20 minutes at the First Niagara Center.

  • All hail, the Keg. Greg McKegg gets pushed into the lineup when Sean Kuraly was pushed out due to COVID-19 protocols and he tipped home a Matt Grzelcyk shot as he cut through the middle of the ice. McKegg played well in his other appearance for Boston earlier this season as well, so he’s showing that he’s the kind of veteran hand that can step in after an absence and bring some energy and fourth line play. Maybe they give him a couple of games even when the struggling Kuraly is cleared of the protocols?
  • How was Jack Ahcan in his first period of NHL hockey? The Boston Bruins rookie was fine. He blocked a shot, kept things clean and was otherwise undistinguishable in 6:13 of ice time. That’s not really his game given his offensive playmaking and aggressive style, but probably for the best with getting his feet wet at this level.

 

  • Craig Smith had a shot on net and a takeaway and nearly set up a goal on a Jake DeBrusk rebound attempt after he sped up the boards with speed. It looks like Smith has the good skating legs for this one. They could certainly use a big offensive game for him with the secondary scoring at some point sooner rather than later.

 

  • No shots on net, a giveaway and a minus-1 rating for Taylor Hall after the first period of play. Buffalo appears to have truly ruined him for this season. I wonder how he’s going to play when he inevitably gets traded and let out of NHL jail.

 

  • Sabres had 17 shot attempts, but only seven of them landed on net in the first period. That is some serious bad shooting, Tex.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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