The Boston Bruins continued to zone in towards the Stanley Cup playoffs and extended their win streak to six games with a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Thursday in Buffalo.
After the Sabres tied the game at one 5:27 into the second period, the Bruins scored four straight and unanswered goals to take the first two games of a three-game set in Buffalo. David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists and Brad Marchand and Matt Grzelcyk each had a goal and an assist; and Nick Ritchie and David Krejci each lit the lamp for the Boston Bruins. Arttu Ruotsalainen scored the lone goal for the Sabres.
Boston Bruins rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman improved to 5-1-0 in his NHL career with a 29-save performance.
GOLD STAR: Brad Marchand. A day after Pierre McGuire called the PHWA out for not giving him enough respect with regards to the Selke Trophy (best defensive forward), Marchand once again proved that he needs to be considered for the Selke and the Hart Trophy as league MVP. Marchand put the Bruins up 1-0 12:36 into the first period and then assisted on Pastrnak’s 18th goal of the season at 4:55 of the third period. Marchand remained top 5 in goal scoring and points when this game ended and proves to be a candidate for both awards if he keeps this up.
Mike Reilly gets the shot on net, Brad Marchand cleans up the rebound.
— Marina Maher (@marinakmaher) April 22, 2021
BLACK EYE: Penalties. The Boston Bruins penalty kill has had to kill off 11 Sabres’ powerplays so far in this three-game set at Buffalo. They’ve actually faced 17 powerplay attempts in their last three games. While it’s great that the PK has killed off 12 of those powerplays, it’s worrisome that the Bruins are giving up so many man advantages every game. Whether it’s fatigue from the grueling schedule the Bruins and every NHL team is going through or at times laziness, the Bruin need to curb this trend promptly. If they do this against better teams, the Bruins will be fighting for their playoff lives!
TURNING POINT: As I write this, I’m yet to confirm this, but in the old eyes of this humble puck scribe, the turning point for the Boston Bruins in this game was seeing their minutes leader, defenseman Charlie McAvoy, and then captain Patrice Bergeron come back from two blocked shots that clearly stung both players.
Charlie McAvoy blocks a shot from Mattias Samuelsson and is really hurting.
He needs help getting down the tunnel. pic.twitter.com/B8IFaQn6ld
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 22, 2021
A few minutes into the first McAvoy had to be helped off the ice after blocking a shot from Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson. Just after McAvoy returned, Marchand scored his 25th goal of the season to put the Bruins up 1-0. Bergeron would also take one for the team in the first period and while the sabres got the next goal, both he and McAvoy made it clear to their teammates, they better be in playoff mode.
HONORABLE MENTION: Charlie McAvoy/David Pastrnak/Jeremy Swayman. I’m not sure this really allowed but this was a team effort from the Boston Bruins and these three players, along with Marchand led the way.
After leaving the game in serious pain early in the first period, McAvoy came back, assisted on what proved to be the game-winning goal by Matt Grzelcyk 12:50 into the second period, and played 20:50 TOI and 25 total shifts. He was a +1.
Pastrnak had a goal and two assists to extend his point streak to five games. He has two goals and seven assists during that span.
David Pastrnak fires home his 18th goal of the season. pic.twitter.com/XzjRjOCq15
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 23, 2021
Swayman didn’t have to save the day as he has already in his young NHL career but he got the job done and helped silence any thoughts of a comeback by the Sabres with 29 saves.
— Bruins Diehards (@BruinsDiehards) April 23, 2021
BY THE NUMBERS: 25. Marchand is now the fourth NHL player to score 25 goals this season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s fun to see your team grinding…It’s fun to watch. I’m really happy with the outcome” – Swayman when asked what it was like to see his team put the pedal to the medal and score four straight goals on the Sabres.